You can help prevent a stroke if you control risk factors and treat other medical conditions that can lead to a stroke.
And if you have already had a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA), you can prevent another stroke in the same way, by controlling risk factors and treating medical conditions that can lead to stroke.
Know your stroke risk
These are some of the common risk factors for stroke:
Treat any health problems you have
- Manage high blood pressure or high cholesterol by working with your doctor.
- Manage diabetes. Keep your blood sugar levels within a target range.
- If your doctor recommends you take aspirin or a blood thinner, take it. This can help prevent having a stroke.
- Take your medicine exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle
- Do not smoke or allow others to smoke around you. For more information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.
- Limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women.
- Stay at a healthy weight. Being overweight makes it more likely you will develop high blood pressure, heart problems, and diabetes. These conditions make a stroke more likely.
- Do activities that raise your heart rate. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. Walking is a good choice. You also may want to do other activities, such as running, swimming, cycling, or playing tennis or team sports.
- Eat a balanced diet that is low in cholesterol, saturated fats, and salt. What kind of diet you use(What is a PDF document?) depends on your individual risks, your doctor's recommendation, and your preference. Here are some options: