Posted by: Chelsea Hampton | June 25, 2012

Understanding and Preventing Stroke – Risk Factors & Steps for Prevention

While a stroke can happen to nearly anyone, there are important measures you can take to help prevent this life-threatening occurrence. It is important to be aware of certain risk factors and health conditions associated with stroke, as well as steps to be taken for lowering one’s risk.

  • Risk Factors – Some of these may involve hereditary factors, conditions that are treatable/manageable, and lifestyle behaviors that can be altered. 

– Family history of stroke

– High blood pressure/hypertension – High blood pressure is one of the most significant risk factors for stroke.

– Smoking cigarettes

– History of heart disease and/or previous stroke – This also includes high cholesterol.

– Diabetes

– Age – While a stroke can happen at any age, the risk increases significantly after the age of 55.

– Inactivity/sedentary lifestyle

– Being overweight

– Excessive alcohol use

  • Steps for Prevention

– Know your risk! One of the best things you can do is learn about your family history and have an understanding of your own health. Regular check-ups, exams and routine blood work are important, and if you feel you have symptoms and/or risk factors, consult a physician as soon as possible.

– Eat a healthy dietWhile this may seem like common sense, maintaining a healthy diet isn’t always easy. For numerous resources on eating and living well, visit the CDC’s Nutrition website at:

– Be physically active – It is recommended that adults engage in physical exercise for at least 30 minutes on most (if not all) days of the week. It is always advised to consult a physician when starting a new exercise program, particularly if there are any pre-existing health conditions.  

– Maintain a healthy weight

– Don’t smoke

– Limit alcohol use

– While this expounds upon No. 1 above, it is important to carefully monitor and manage any pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and sickle cell disease. These conditions can put an individual at an increased risk for stroke, so proper management is important.

 A proactive approach to health and adequate self-care can greatly reduce the risk factors associated with stroke!



Information obtained and adapted from the following sources:

– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Stroke Prevention.

– National Institutes of Health: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: Brain Basics: Preventing Stroke.

This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website or call toll-free at 866-395-4986.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: