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Heart DiseaseStroke

Let's Talk About Stroke

Not all strokes can be prevented, there's a ton you can do to protect yourself. We cover everything you need to know.

    Our Pro PanelStroke

    We went to some of the nation’s top experts in stroke to bring you the most up-to-date information possible.

    Rohan Arora, M.D.

    Rohan Arora, M.D.Director, Stroke Program

    Long Island Jewish Forest Hills
    Queens, NY
    Ghulam Abbas Kharal, M.D.

    Ghulam Abbas Kharal, M.D.Neurologist

    The Cleveland Clinic
    Cleveland
    Vivien Lee, M.D.

    Vivien Lee, M.D.Medical Director

    The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Comprehensive Stroke Center
    Columbus, OH

    Frequently Asked QuestionsStroke

    What can I do to prevent a stroke?

    Do everything in your power to get risk factors involving heart disease under control. That might mean lowering your blood pressure, exercising at least 150 minutes a week, eating, a nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and more. The earlier you start, the better, but no matter what your age, you’ll benefit from any and all of these positive changes.

    I’m only 45. I don’t have to worry about having a stroke, right?

    Not necessarily. While it’s true that your risk of a stroke is much higher after age 65—this group accounts for nearly 75% of all cases—more and more young people are having strokes. Why? More are obese and have high blood pressure and/or diabetes—all of which puts them at higher risk of stroke.

    Who’s more likely to have a stroke: men or women?

    More women than men have strokes each year, and more women die from them. That’s because women tend to live longer than men, and the older you get, the higher your stroke risk becomes. Older women are also much more likely to have atrial fibrillation, which increases risk of stroke by five times, no matter your age.

    How long will it take to recover from a stroke?

    That depends on the size of the stroke, where in the brain it occurred, and how quickly treatment began. Part of rehabilitation will be training the undamaged parts of your brain to do jobs once performed by areas affected by your stroke. It could take months or years, and partial recovery may be all that’s possible. While that’s hard to read, scientists are learning more about the brain’s plasticity and its ability to “rewire” every day. So have hope.

    Matt McMillen

    Matt McMillen

    Matt McMillen has been a freelance health reporter since 2002. In that time he’s covered everything from acupuncture to the Zika virus.