Preventing strokeStroke - prevention; CVA - prevention; Cerebral vascular accident - prevention; TIA - prevention; Transient ischemic attack - prevention
A stroke occurs when the blood flow is cut off to any part of the brain. The loss of blood flow can be caused by a blood clot in an artery of the brain. It can also be caused by a blood vessel in a part of the brain that becomes weak and bursts open. A stroke is sometimes called a "brain attack."
A stroke occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain stops. A stroke is sometimes called a "brain attack. " If blood flow is cut off for longer th...
What are risk factors and preventive care?
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of having a stroke. You can't change some risk factors for stroke. But some, you can.
A stroke occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain suddenly stops. A stroke is sometimes called a "brain attack or cerebrovascular accident. " I...
Changing risk factors that you can control will help you live a longer, healthier life. This is called preventive care.
An important way to help prevent stroke is to see your health care provider for regular physical exams. Your provider will want to see you at least once a year.
Even if you feel fine, you should still see your health care provider for regular checkups. These visits can help you avoid problems in the future. ...
Risk factors you cannot change
You can't change some risk factors or causes of stroke:
- Age. Your risk of stroke increases as you get older.
- Sex. Men have a higher risk of stroke than women. But more women than men die from stroke.
- Genetic characteristics. If one of your parents had a stroke, you are at higher risk.
- Race. African-Americans have a higher risk of stroke than all other races. Mexican Americans, American Indians, Hawaiians, and some Asian Americans also have a higher risk of stroke.
- Diseases such as cancer, chronic kidney disease, and some autoimmune diseases.
Chronic kidney disease
Chronic kidney disease is the slow loss of kidney function over time. The main job of the kidneys is to remove wastes and excess water from the body...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Weak areas in an artery wall or abnormal arteries and veins.
Weak areas in an artery wall
An aneurysm is a weak area in the wall of a blood vessel that causes the blood vessel to bulge or balloon out. When an aneurysm occurs in a blood ve...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Pregnancy, both during and in the weeks right after pregnancy.
Blood clots from the heart may travel to the brain and cause a stroke. This may happen in people with
- Man-made or infected heart valves
- Certain heart defects with which you were born
Changes to your lifestyle
You can change some risk factors for stroke, by taking the following steps:
- DO NOT smoke. If you do smoke, quit.
- Control high blood pressure through diet, exercise, and medicines, if needed.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
- Maintain a healthy weight by eating healthy foods, eating smaller portions, and joining a weight loss program if needed.
- Limit how much alcohol you drink. This means no more than 1 drink a day for women and 2 a day for men.
- DO NOT use cocaine and other illegal drugs.
Eating healthy is good for your heart and can help lower your risk of stroke.
Eating healthy is good for your heart
A heart-healthy diet is low in saturated fat. It also limits foods with added salt and added sugar. Making heart-healthy food choices does not mean ...
- Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Choose lean proteins, such as chicken, fish, beans, and legumes.
- Choose nonfat or low-fat dairy products, such as 1% milk and other low-fat items.
- Avoid fried foods, processed foods, and baked goods.
- Eat fewer foods that contain cheese, cream, or eggs.
- Avoid foods with a lot of sodium (salt).
Read labels and stay away from unhealthy fats. Avoid foods with:
- Saturated fat
- Partially-hydrogenated or hydrogenated fats
Medical problems may lead to stroke
Control your cholesterol and diabetes with a healthy diet, exercise, and medicines if needed.
Type 2 diabetes is a life-long (chronic) disease. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body has trouble using the insulin it normally makes. Insulin i...
If you have high blood pressure:
- Your provider may ask you to keep track of your blood pressure at home.
- You should lower it and control it with a healthy diet, exercise, and by taking medicines your provider prescribes.
Talk to your provider about the risks of taking birth control pills.
- Birth control pills can increase the chance of blood clots, which can lead to stroke.
- Clots are more likely in women taking birth control pills who also smoke and who are older than 35.
Your provider may suggest taking aspirin or another drug to help prevent blood clots from forming. DO NOT take aspirin without talking to your provider first.
Biller J, Ruland S, Schneck MJ. Ischemic cerebrovascular disease. In Daroff RB, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 65.
Goldstein LB. Prevention and management of ischemic stroke. In: Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015: chap 59.
January CT, Wann LS, Alpert JS, et al. 2014 AHA/ACC/HRS guideline for the management of patients with atrial fibrillation: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and the Heart Rhythm Society. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;64(21):e1-e76. PMID: 24685669 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24685669.
Meschia JF, Bushnell C, Boden-Albala B, et al. Guidelines for the primary prevention of stroke: a statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. 2014;45(12):3754-3832. PMID: 25355838 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25355838.
Review Date: 8/7/2017
Reviewed By: Amit M. Shelat, DO, FACP, Attending Neurologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, SUNY Stony Brook, School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.