Boston, MA (PRWEB) August 13, 2013
More than two dozen factors influence the odds of having a stroke. Some can't be changed like getting older or having a family history of stroke. But a surprising number of these factors can be controlled, even when an underlying medical condition further ups the risk of stroke, reports the August 2013 Harvard Heart Letter.
"Stroke is potentially one of the most devastating illnesses that we see, and it's especially tragic when simply taking good care of one's blood pressure or some other preventive measure might have averted it," says Dr. Thomas Lee, MD, co-editor in chief of the Harvard Heart Letter.
There are two basic categories of stroke risk: lifestyle risks and medical risks. Among smokers, that habit is by far the most important lifestyle risk. Nothing will do more to prevent a stroke than quitting. Other lifestyle changes that can help cut stroke risk are:
- losing weight if needed
- consuming alcohol only in moderation
- cutting back on sodium (salt)
Several underlying medical conditions can increase the odds of having a stroke. These include high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, and diabetes. Controlling these conditions can also reduce stroke risk.
Read the full-length article: "How to lower your stroke risk".
Also in the August 2013 issue of the Harvard Heart Letter:
- Shortness of breath: when to call the doctor
- Too much sitting linked to heart attack and stroke
- Health span may be important than life span
The Harvard Heart Letter is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/heart or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).