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Risk Factors

Anyone can have a stroke.  Many common medical conditions can increase your chances.  You may not be able to prevent a stroke, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk.  Work with your health care team to learn what changes you need to make and what treatment is best for you. 

Here are some important things you can do:

  • Stop smoking, it significantly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Get plenty of exercise
  • Limit alcohol intake to no more than 1 drink a day for women or 2 drinks a day for men.
  • Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.  Too much fat, especially around your waist, increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. Check your BMI on a regular basis
  • Eat a heart healthy diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, skinless poultry and fish, nuts and legumes, and non-tropical vegetable oils
  • If you are diabetic, protect your health by managing your blood glucose, or blood sugar and maintain regular office visits with your physician
  • If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol work closely with your doctor to manage your medications and make lifestyle changes to optimize your health