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How to Quickly Spot Signs of Stroke: Experts
Date:5/13/2013

s can also save lives, the experts pointed out. "Stroke statistics are sobering: It's the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of adult disabilities," said Dr. Babak Navi, director of the Stroke Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, in the news release.

"On average, someone dies of stroke every four minutes," he added. "The good news is that approximately 80 percent of strokes can be prevented."

Lifestyle changes that can significantly reduce the risk of having a stroke include the following:

  • Cut back on salt. Reducing salt intake can lower blood pressure, reducing the risk for stroke. Instead of salt, season food with a variety of spices.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Reduce LDL (or "bad") cholesterol levels to improve heart health and reduce the risk for stroke. Cholesterol levels should be 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or below.
  • Quit smoking. Smokers have twice the risk of having a stroke. Smoking damages blood vessels, increases blood pressure and accelerates the clogging of arteries.
  • Exercise. People who are overweight or obese are at greater risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke. Losing weight can lower the risk for stroke and ease the strain on the circulatory system.

Even with these lifestyle changes, the experts pointed out that people aged 55 years or older are still at greater risk for stroke. Also at greater risk are black people, Hispanics and those with a family history of stroke or "mini-stroke" (also called a transient ischemic attack).

Although strokes are more common in men, women who have strokes are more likely to die from them, according to the news release.

More information

Visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine to learn more about stroke treatment and
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