How to reduce your risk for stroke - Dr. David B. Samadi

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How to reduce your risk for stroke
Friday, 04 November 2016

Strokes affect both men and women. However, women are more negatively impacted as stroke is the third cause of death in women, compared to the fifth leading cause of death in men. Every year, about 55,000 more women have a stroke than men. Among the more than 137,000 Americans who die from stroke each year, about 60 percent of them women. This year, it is estimated that more than 100,000 women in the U.S. under age 65 will have a stroke.

Get your diabetes under control. Poorly controlled diabetes leads to many other diseases and health problems. It is one of the leading risk factors of stroke.

Keep your blood pressure in check. Many people don’t even know that they have hypertension. Get your blood pressure checked. It if is high, adjust your diet and take the medication prescribed by your doctor to get your blood pressure to a normal range. Hypertension can be managed.

However, uncontrolled hypertension damages the inner lining of blood vessels and restricts their elasticity, making them prone to blood clots.

Avoid smoking. If you already smoke, stopping smoking can reverse the damaging effects of smoking. The longer you wait until you stop smoking, the longer it takes to repair the damaging effects on your blood vessels.

Watch your triglyceride and cholesterol levels. High blood cholesterol and fat such as triglycerides come from your diet as well as your body's own production of fats and cholesterol. See your doctor to determine whether your levels are high. If they are, talk to your doctor about what you need to do to to get them back to normal. Decreasing your blood levels of cholesterol and fat can decrease your stroke risk.

Keep stress under control. Stress increases your risk of stroke. Stroke risk factors, whether due to inherited physical factors or to harmful lifestyle habits, can be changed to substantially decrease your risk of stroke, which can increase your life by an expected twelve years.

Get an adequate amount of exercise. Exercise can reduce your risk of stroke. Try to get at least thirty minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise on most days of the week.

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