How To Reduce Your Risk of Stroke

Take a few steps to reduce your risk of stroke and you just might save your life.

Stroke is the cause of one in every 18 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), making it the leading cause of death in this country. The good news, while those statistics are worrisome, there are several things you can do to reduce your risk.

• Don't smoke, and if you drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. Research shows that smoking doubles your risk for stroke. Likewise, drinking alcohol in excess can put you at increased risk. The CDC and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans define drinking alcohol in moderation as no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men.

• Watch your weight. Being overweight or obese puts added stress on your heart and contributes to an array of conditions that raise your risk for stroke. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is a matter of eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

• Treat underlying conditions. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes all increase your risk for stroke. Talk with your doctor to determine if changes in diet and exercise habits can reduce your risk to a safe level or if you would benefit from taking medication too.

Plaza Medical Center was the first Fort Worth hospital to offer a dedicated stroke program, and we're still committed to caring for your health today. To learn more about stroke prevention, talk with your doctor or visit our Neuroscience Center online. If you need to find a doctor, use our online Find a Physician service or call 1-855-80PLAZA.

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