Cerebrovascular disease; CVA; Cerebral infarction; Cerebral hemorrhage; Ischemic stroke; Stroke - ischemic; Cerebrovascular accident; Stroke - hemorrhagic
To help prevent a stroke:
- Avoid fatty foods. Follow a healthy, low-fat diet.
- Do not drink more than 1 to 2 alcoholic drinks a day.
- Exercise regularly: 30 minutes a day if you are not overweight; 60 - 90 minutes a day if you are overweight.
- Get your blood pressure checked every 1 - 2 years, especially if
high blood pressureruns in your family.
- Have your cholesterol checked. If you are at high risk for stroke, your LDL "bad" cholesterol should be lower than 100 mg/dL. Your doctor may recommend that you try to reduce your LDL cholesterol to 70 mg/dL.
- Follow your doctor's treatment recommendations if you have high blood pressure,
diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
- Quit smoking.
Aspirin therapy (81 mg a day or 100 mg every other day) is recommended for stroke prevention in all men who have stroke risk factors, and in women under age 65 who are at risk for stroke, as long as the benefits outweigh the risks. It should be considered for women over age 65 only if their blood pressure is controlled and the benefit is greater than the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and brain hemorrhage. Ask your doctor if aspirin is right for you.
Your doctor may also recommend aspirin therapy or another blood thinner if you have had a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke in the past, or if you currently have:
Review Date: 06/15/2010
Reviewed By: Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.