Stroke - Prevention

You can help prevent a stroke if you control risk factors and treat other medical conditions that can lead to a stroke. You can help prevent a TIA or stroke by taking steps toward a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Know your stroke risk

Your doctor can help you know your risk. These are some of the common risk factors for stroke:

Treat any health problems you have

Adopt a healthy lifestyle

  • Don't smoke or allow others to smoke around you. For more information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.
  • Limit alcohol to 2 drinks camera.gif a day for men and 1 drink a day for women.
  • Stay at a healthy weight. Being overweight makes it more likely you will develop high blood pressure, heart problems, and diabetes. These conditions make a stroke more likely.
  • Try to do at least 2½ hours a week of moderate exercise. One way to do this is to be active 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. Or try to do vigorous activity at least 1¼ hours a week.
  • Eat heart-healthy foods. These include fruits, vegetables, high-fiber foods, and foods that are low in sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. Eat fish at least 2 times each week. Oily fish, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, are best. These fish include salmon, mackerel, lake trout, herring, and sardines.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
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