Strokes are preventable! The most important thing you can do is to get your blood pressure checked and treated if it is high.
- Have your blood pressure checked and monitored by a doctor. Even moderately high blood pressure over years can lead to a stroke.
- Treat high cholesterol with diet and exercise and then medication to reduce the risk of stroke. High levels of blood cholesterol known as LDL (low-density lipoprotein) increase risk for stroke and may cause the formation of artery-narrowing plaque.
- In people with certain irregular heart rhythms, such as atrial fibrillation, the use of blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin) has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke.
- For the general population, aspirin has not been shown to reduce stroke risk. It may be useful if prescribed by a doctor for people who have an increased risk of stroke.
- Control diabetes.
- Stop smoking or never smoke.
- Know the symptoms of stroke. Act quickly when someone exhibits the signs of a stroke. Stroke is a medical emergency.
- Surgically, some brain aneurysms can be treated if found before they bleed into the brain tissue.
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