About every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke, and more than 77 percent are first events. Although deaths due to strokes have declined, a strokecaused by the sudden loss of blood flow to the brain or bleeding in or around the brain, either of which can cause brain cells to diestill has a staggering impact upon lives. Now, new guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association offer updated advice for preventing a first stroke.
“We still have quite a ways to go toward controlling stroke risk factors,” says Larry B. Goldstein, M.D., chairman of the group of experts who wrote the new stroke prevention guidelines and director of the Duke Stroke Center in Durham, N.C. “More than two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese and don’t get adequate exercise, and only about 7 percent of people age 40 to 59 succeed in meeting the goals for four major cardiovascular risk factorscholesterol, blood pressure, fasting blood sugar, and smoking.”
The guidelines, released online in December 2010, incorporate the latest research and advances in stroke prevention. Here are 11 effective strategies, including medical tactics to take and lifestyle adjustments to make.
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