Stroke: The ‘behaviour’ that may increase your risk and how to lower it

Statins: How the drug prevents heart attacks and strokes

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It says there are a number of behaviours that can increase or reduce a person’s risk of having a stroke.

Physical activity, or lack of it, is one of the main risk factors with regard to stroke.

This is because of the number of conditions a lack of physical exercise can lead to, that in turn, increase the risk of having a stroke.

Conditions that can result from not having enough exercise include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

As a result, one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk is to exercise.

The NHS recommends at least 150 minutes, or two and a half hours, a week.

However, the more exercise that is conducted, the better for overall health and fitness.

Exercising often is all well and good, but it goes hand in hand with a good diet.

The CDC says “Diets high in saturated fats…and cholesterol have been linked to stroke and related conditions”.

As well as this, high levels of salt can lead to higher blood pressure, a condition that increases the likelihood of a stroke occurring.

Other risk factors for stroke include:
• Drinking too much alcohol
• Smoking
• Managing underlying health conditions.

As a stroke is a fast-moving emergency situation it is key to know if someone is having one.

According to the NHS they can best be memorised as F.A.S.T

Face, their face may have dropped on one side, so may have their eye or mouth and they may be unable to smile.

Arms, the individual may not be able to lift both arms or keep them raised once they’ve lifted them.

Speech, their speech might be slurred or garbled, they may be unable to talk at all despite appearing completely awake or they may not understand what you’re communicating to them.

Time, if you see someone experiencing these symptoms, call 999 as soon as possible.

Recovery from a stroke will depend on the severity of the stroke; for some recovery will take a number of weeks, for others it may take longer.

More information is available on the NHS.

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