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Prevent a stroke

woman after preventing a stroke
woman after preventing a stroke

1. Top 3 ways to reduce stroke risk? Reduce high blood pressure (BP), reduce high BP again and again.

2. Check, and reduce stroke risk and heart disease in next 10 years, or of one you love.

3. prevent a stroke: 7 ways.


1. Top 3 ways to reduce stroke risk? Reduce high BP, again and again [ref. 1]

chart undiagnosed high BP 2017
Those who don’t know they have High BP.

One person in every 3 UK adults has high blood pressure. This can lead to heart diseases, strokes, dementia [42] and kidney diseases. 4 people in every 10 with high BP are not receiving any treatment [see diagram on left, PHE, 2017]. So next page is about how to manage high blood pressure.

2. Check and reduce stroke risk and heart disease in next 10 years

Want to do it now?  Takes just a few minutes, using latest UK research and tool QRisk 3‘ developed by doctors & researchers in the UK NHS, based on data from many thousands of doctors [16].

The UK NHS also lets you enter your blood pressure reading online, to find out what it means.

3. Prevent a stroke: 7 steps

Stop sign
Stop smoking sign

Step 1. If you smoke, stop now, using a free NHS local stop smoking service. Stop smoking options: Public Health England guidance, August 2018. Almost as important a cause of strokes as high blood pressure. Smoking one cigarette per day carries a risk of heart disease and stroke much greater than expected: around half that for people who smoke 20 per day. No safe level of smoking exists for heart and stroke diseases. So quit instead of cutting down [45]. Within four to five years of quitting smoking, stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker [WHO].

Step 2.  Improve your lifestyle, with a healthier diet, less alcohol,  more exercise, (so lose weight!), cut down on caffeine, reduce the salt you eat, and, get a good night’s sleep. “Lifestyle management is the main reason for high blood pressure, and we have to get to grips with it.” [Nov. 2017, 35]

Step 3. If also at risk of diabetes, follow how to prevent yourself getting diabetes. If you already have diabetes, better blood sugars reduce your risks of a stroke [4].

Old man3

Step 4. Want to know more about preventing a stroke? What is it like to have a stroke and its problems?  Look at Sally’s video story, ‘after a mini stroke; move fast!

Step 5.  See your GP if:

  • You notice a sudden change in your heartbeat, and if your heart beat rate is often lower than 60 or above 100 beats per minute.
  • Or if you’re experiencing other symptoms of ‘AF’, such as dizziness or shortness of breath see NHS guide.

Step 6.  Go to hospital very quickly after a suspected stroke. The NHS tells you about tests in hospital to confirm the diagnosis, find the cause, and brain scans to find which part of the brain is affected [42]. Everyone with suspected stroke should receive a brain scan within one hour.

Step 7. Look at other often asked questions & answers about strokes. Put agreed actions to reduce stroke risk in your personal health plan.

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page updated 25 July 2022.  © 2022 social enterprise Diabetes-cutmyrisks.co.uk.™ Ltd.

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