There are stoke prevention measures you can take to minimize your risk. Certain risk factors can increase your chances of having a stroke. Understanding the risk factors is the first step to stroke prevention. Once you have identified personal risk factors, work with your healthcare provider to reduce your personal risk.
Lifestyle risks include diet and exercise which are part of controllable risk factors. These are habits or behaviors people choose to engage in. These habits can be changed and as a result, they can directly affect some medical risk factors by improving them.
Medical risks include high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation (AFib), high cholesterol, diabetes and circulation problems are all factors which are controllable. Controlling these factors can reduce the risk for stroke. Medical risk factors are often caused by a combination of things including family history. Medical risk factors are treatable by medications and special diets. Talk to your healthcare professional about options available and together come up with a plan that best fits you.
Some risks for stroke are simply not avoidable and knowing what they are is important in determining your overall risk for stroke. These include age, gender, race, ethnicity, family history and a history of previous stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). There are other medical conditions that can also increase the risk of having a stroke. You should discuss you risks with your doctor to learn best what you can do to minimize your risk.
Atrial fibrillation (AFib) affects an estimated 2.2 million people in the U.S. AFib is a type of irregular heartbeat. This occurs when the two upper chambers of the heart beat unpredictably. These irregular heartbeats can cause blood to collect in the heart and potentially form a clot, which can travel to a person’s brain and cause a stroke.