How to Help Prevent a Stroke

A few small changes that can make a big difference.

With recent research from the Stroke Association revealing an increase in the number of strokes occuring in younger men and women, it is more important than ever to take some preventative steps. 

In 2014, there were 1,961 more men and 1,075 more women admitted to hospital due to a stroke, between the age of 40-54, than in 2000. 

There are some genetic risk factors that we can't control but, by following these lifestyle tips, you can begin to control the things we can change.  

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1. High fibre foods

Data reviewed in May 2014 found that for every additional 7g of fibre you eat – the equivalent of three apples – you cut the risk of heart disease and stroke by 10%. Find out how to easily increase your fibre intake. 

2. Sleeping

A study completed by the University of Cambridge in February found that people who sleep longer than eight hours may be up to 46% more likely to have a stroke.The Stroke Association has stated that there is not enough evidence to suggest that too much sleep directly leads to strokes.  Read more about this study. 

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3. Take the test

Earlier this year, the NHS launched a new health calculator which, based on your lifestyle and vital stats, can indicate when you are most likely to suffer a stroke orheart attack. Find out more and take the test here. 

4. Health checks

The Stroke Association emphasises the benefits of getting regular health checks to monitor potential stroke warning signs. They suggest regularly getting your blood pressure checked, getting help if you're suffering from stress or depression and keeping any existing health issues under control. 

5. Smoking and alcohol

The Stroke Association states that you are twice as likely to have a stroke if you smoke. Find out about the NHS Stop Smoking Services. Excessive alcohol consumption and binge drinking can increase your blood pressure and, therefore, your risk of having a stroke. The Stroke Association suggests that men and women should not drink every day or exceed the following limits:- Women should not drink more than 2 to 3 units a day.- Men should not drink more than 3 to 4 units a day.(A unit of alcohol is a small glass of wine, a single measure of spirits or half a pint of weak beer or larger)If you have any health concerns, always consult your GP.

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