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Stroke Prevention Guidelines and Healthy Lifestyle

Eat lots of fruits and veggies, get exercise, limit salt and don't smoke, experts say

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By Randy Dotinga

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Want to lower your risk of a first-time stroke? New guidelines from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association reinforce the idea that a healthy lifestyle is crucial.

The new guidelines advise people to exercise, control blood pressure and eat what's known as Mediterranean or DASH-style (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) diets that emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains and seeds, plus poultry and fish.

"We have a huge opportunity to improve how we prevent new strokes, because risk factors that can be changed or controlled, especially high blood pressure, account for 90 percent of strokes," said Dr. James Meschia, lead author of the guidelines and professor and chairman of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., in an American Heart Association news release.

The guidelines recommend that people:

Continued

"Talking about stroke prevention is worthwhile," Meschia said. "In many instances, stroke isn't fatal, but it leads to years of physical, emotional and mental impairment that could be avoided."

The guidelines appear online Oct. 29 in the journal Stroke.

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Sources

SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, Oct. 29, 2014

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