Stroke Risk Factors
Strokes affect people of all ages and walks of life, including people who appear perfectly healthy on the outside. While it’s not possible to predict who will be affected, there is much you can do to reduce the chances that you or someone you love will have a stroke.
High blood pressure
– The most important risk factor for stroke is high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Know your blood pressure and have it checked at least every two years. If it is 140/90 or higher, it is too high.
– If you smoke, quit. Smoking and other tobacco products increase the risk of stroke.
— People with diabetes have an increased risk for stroke.
— Your brain needs good blood flow. Too much cholesterol can clog arteries, reducing blood flow to your brain and vital organs. If an artery leading to the brain is blocked, a stroke may result.
Physical inactivity and obesity
— Being inactive, obese or both increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.
— Many drugs alter you heart rate and blood pressure. Even trying a drug one time can cause a stroke or heart attack.
— Drinking too much even one time can cause a stroke or heart attack.
Control your risks for stroke and heart disease by eating a healthy diet, getting moderate exercise four to five times a week, take your medications as prescribed and seeing your doctor regularly.
If you think someone might be having a stroke, call 911 to get medical help as quickly as possible.