ay to treat a stroke is never to have one."
Other prevention-related information included in the guidelines:
- Genetic screening for stroke may be appropriate for some at-risk patients, but not for the general public.
- Treating patients with a blocked neck artery (carotid artery) with a stent or surgery (endarterectomy) should be decided on a case-by-case basis.
- Screening for narrowing of the neck arteries is not recommended.
- Aspirin is advised only for people at high risk of stroke for whom the reduction in stroke risk outweighs the bleeding risk of aspirin.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer, and a major cause of disability.
Dr. Ralph L. Sacco, professor and chairman of neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and president of the American Heart Association, agrees with the emphasis on healthy lifestyles for preventing both heart disease and stroke.
"The heart association is focusing on what we call 'Life's Simple 7,'" he said. "The seven key health factors that can improve people's health."
These include controlling blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol, in addition to exercising, eating healthfully, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight, he said.
"We, as Americans, need to take control of our health," Sacco said.
For more information on stroke, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
SOURCES: Larry B. Goldstein, M.D., director, Duke Stroke Center, Durham, N.C.; Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., professor and chairman of neurology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, president, American Heart Association; December 2010, Stroke
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