Taking action to control your risk factors can help prevent or delay a stroke. If you’ve already had a stroke, these actions can help prevent another one.
One step you can take is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. For example, if you smoke or use tobacco, quit. Smoking can damage and tighten blood vessels and raise your risk of stroke. Talk with your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit. Also, try to avoid secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke also can damage the blood vessels.
Following a healthy diet also is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It also includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, and fat-free or low-fat milk or milk products. A healthy diet is low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium (salt), and added sugar.
If you’re overweight or obese, work with your doctor to create a reasonable weight-loss plan. Controlling your weight helps you control stroke risk factors.
Try to be physically active. Physical activity can improve your fitness level and your health. Ask your doctor what types and amounts of activity are safe for you.
Know your family history of stroke. If you or someone in your family has had a stroke, be sure to tell your doctor.
For more information about lifestyle changes, go to “How Is a Stroke Treated?” If lifestyle changes are not enough, you also may need medicines to control your stroke risk factors. Take all of your medicines as your doctor prescribes.
If you’ve had a transient ischemic attack (TIA), don’t ignore it. It’s important for your doctor to find the cause of the TIA so you can take steps to prevent a stroke.
Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Stroke, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.
March 10, 2013
NIH statement on the vitamin component of the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy
Preliminary results from the vitamin component of the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT) were released today during the American College of Cardiology’s 2013 Scientific Sessions. The study found that overall heart attack patients given a combination of high-dose oral vitamins and minerals did not exhibit a significant reduction in recurrent cardiac events over those who did not receive the high-dose vitamins and minerals.
The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.