Frequently Asked Questions
11. Is stroke preventable?
Yes. Stroke is preventable. A better understanding of the causes of stroke has helped people make lifestyle changes that have cut the stroke death rate nearly in half in the last two decades.
While family history of stroke plays a role in your risk, there are many risk factors you can control:
- If you have high blood pressure, work with your doctor to get it under control. Managing your high blood pressure is the most important thing you can do to avoid stroke. See ways to manage high blood pressure.
- If you smoke, quit. See resources to help you quit, including , smoking quitlines, an online quit plan, a quit smoking website for older adults, and mobile apps and free text messaging services.
- If you have diabetes, learn how to manage it. Many people do not realize they have diabetes, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. See ways to manage diabetes every day.
- If you are overweight, start maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. See a sensible approach to weight loss. See exercises tailored for older adults.
- If you have high cholesterol, work with your doctor to lower it. A high level of total cholesterol in the blood is a major risk factor for heart disease, which raises your risk of stroke. Learn about lifestyle changes to control cholesterol.