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Stroke Prevention

After you have a stroke, you're at risk for having another one. Make important lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of stroke and improve your overall health.

Stroke Prevention Tips

  • Don't smoke. Smoking can more than double your risk of stroke. Avoid secondhand smoke whenever you can.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet that includes plenty of fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, high-fiber grains and breads, and olive oil. Eat less salt, too.
  • Get exercise on most or, even better, all days of the week. Your doctor can suggest a safe level of exercise for you.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Keep your blood sugar as close to normal as possible if you have diabetes.
  • Limit alcohol. Having more than 2 drinks a day increases the risk of stroke.
  • Do not use illegal drugs, such as a stimulant, like cocaine. Cocaine increases blood pressure and causes the heart to beat more rapidly, thereby increasing your risk of stroke.
  • Do not take birth control pills if you have other risk factors. If you smoke or have high cholesterol or a history of blood clots, taking birth control pills increases your risk of having a stroke.
  • Take a daily aspirin or other medicines, if your doctor advises it.
  • Avoid getting sick from the flu. Get a flu shot every year.
  • Avoid hormone replacement therapy. In women who have gone through menopause, hormone replacement therapy has been shown to slightly increase the risk of stroke.
  • Work closely with your doctor. Go to all your appointments and take your medications just the way your doctor advises.
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