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You should not be shocked that stroke is the 3rd biggest cause of mortality throughout the world. Therefore, it is necessary to know how to reduce stroke risk because every 6 seconds, someone is having a stroke.

The reality is, strokes can cause significant health problems and shouldn’t be treated lightly.

According to the CDC, each year there are around 631,000 strokes in the US alone which results in $34 Billion in medical expenses on average.

The damage that strokes inflict can often end in death, incapacity, or both.

So even if it may not seem like a huge problem now - you definitely should take efforts to reduce your likelihood of getting one.

It’s also vital that you know what the risk factors are and how to reduce stroke risk from occurring.

Although, there are certain risk factors that you can manage and others that you can’t but understanding them is a major step ahead.

The good news is that there are steps that you may do to reduce your risk of stroke, and all strokes.

In this post, we will look at some common risk factors that put people at risk for strokes and what you can do to reduce stroke risk.

how to reduce stroke risk
What is a Stroke?

In simplest terms, a stroke is the stoppage of the blood flow to the brain. In other terms, strokes are obstructions in the blood arteries of the brain. This obstruction is known as a myocardial infarction.

People who suffer a stroke are likely to have enduring or permanent impairments in mobility, speech, and other elements of their mental health.

Some persons are severely handicapped after a stroke, while others are able to achieve a full recovery, even after a life-threatening attack.

But What Causes Strokes?

Before we talk about how to reduce stroke risk, it is important that you know the causes of stroke.

According to the CDC, strokes are generally caused by blood clots, a constriction of the arteries that prevent blood from flowing into the brain.

Strokes are more prevalent than you may imagine. In fact, your likelihood of getting one in your lifetime are 1 in 3.

They develop when a blood clot stops a blood artery to the brain.

A lot can happen everywhere in the body, but the most common ones that cause strokes form and lodge in an artery that feeds blood to the brain, which is termed an “artery of the neck.”

Strokes can range from moderate to severe, depending on how much of the brain is affected by a lack of oxygen.

Most of the strokes that you hear about are most likely the “mini-strokes” which are not life-threatening but are frequently quiet, and the most prevalent form of stroke.

Strokes are caused by vascular disease and vascular disease is the inability of a blood artery to expand and contract with sufficient force.

That means when the blood flow to the brain is restricted by vascular illness, a person's brain can't get oxygen and nutrients, which creates an imbalance of chemicals in the brain and ultimately lead to brain damage and death.

Types of Strokes

Your doctor needs to know the types of strokes before knowing the right approach on how to reduce stroke risk.

Although there are numerous distinct types of strokes, we chose to talk about the three basic types here:

Ischemic Stroke: This happens when a blood clot restricts blood flow to the brain

Haemorrhagic Stroke: This occurs when a blood artery breaks in the brain producing haemorrhage.

Transients Stroke: This is an extremely unusual form of stroke that doesn’t have apparent indications.


We can’t confidently talk about how to reduce stroke risk without the risk factors. Although there are many distinct risk factors, the most essential ones are as follows:


For persons of all ages, age is a major risk factor for stroke. People are at the biggest risk of stroke as they age.

The most frequent age for stroke is older individuals, however, younger people can also, suffer a stroke.

Stroke risk factors are raised as people become older. By age40, stroke risk is 2.5 times higher.

By age 65, it is more than 4 times greater. People are also more likely to suffer a stroke at that age if they have diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure might be a risk factor for stroke. About one in three individuals have high blood pressure, which puts them at risk for a stroke if they already had one.

People with high blood pressure (hypertension) have higher amounts of stress on the blood arteries of the brain.

This can cause a clot to develop in an artery that supplies the brain. This can result in a stroke.

The risk of high blood pressure increases with age. Many people have high blood pressure even if they do not have any risk factors.

However, some people may develop high blood pressure without a family history of the illness, or even without the presence of other risk factors.

You may not have symptoms, but your blood pressure may be high and your doctor may prescribe that you take medication to keep it at a healthy range.

how to reduce stroke risk
High Cholesterol

Research revealed that women with high cholesterol had double the risk of stroke as women who had normal cholesterol levels.

High cholesterol is also known as hypercholesterolemia. It’s typical for persons with high cholesterol to suffer a stroke.

If your cholesterol level is excessively high, you may have an increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

High cholesterol damages not only your heart but also the blood vessels that connect to your heart and brain.

High cholesterol puts you at a higher risk for stroke since your blood doesn’t have the required flow to remove the cholesterol.

Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol consumption causes the brain to produce substances that can induce a stroke.

It is also, a primary cause of stroke, with every 10 alcoholic drinks daily raising the risk by roughly 50 per cent.

However, alcohol usage may reduce the risk of suffering a stroke.

Studies suggest that frequent moderate drinking of alcohol decreases stroke risk by 25 per cent for both men and women.

It is feasible to enjoy moderate drinking and reduce your risk. A better approach to drinking is to reduce down by simply having an occasional glass of wine.

However, if you consume more than one drink a day, you are at an elevated risk of stroke.

High Blood Sugar (Diabetes)

Diabetes is a condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to grow too high. This can damage the neurons and blood arteries in the brain and cause strokes.

Diabetes millions, or excessive blood sugar, is a risk factor for stroke.

High blood sugar can also induce uncontrolled high blood pressure and plaque formation in the arteries.

This illness is growing increasingly prevalent, and if left untreated it can lead to significant consequences, such as eyesight loss, heart failure, and amputations.

High blood sugar can also induce uncontrolled high blood pressure and plaque formation in the arteries.

People with Type 2 diabetes have higher than usual blood sugar levels, which can damage blood vessels.

This injury may cause an obstruction or a clot to form in the blood artery that travels to the brain which can result in a stroke.


An overweight or obese physique can alter the circulation of blood throughout the body. This can alter blood flow and reduce oxygen to the brain, making a stroke more probable.

In the United States, about 20 per cent of individuals are considered fat. People with obesity are at a higher risk of getting diabetes and heart disease.

While some research shows that obesity does not cause strokes, other studies relate obesity to an elevated risk for specific types of strokes.

Heavy Smoking

Smoking is the number one preventable cause of stroke. Smoking can raise the risk of coronary heart disease and increase the number of fatty plaques in the arteries.

One research even revealed that smokers are four times more likely to suffer an ischemic stroke (a stroke caused by a blockage or rupture in an artery delivering blood to the brain) compared to non-smokers.

The risk of stroke increases every year someone smokes. Even one cigarette a day can put a person at a fourfold higher risk of stroke compared to those who do not smoke.

According to the CDC, tobacco smoking causes one in every five deaths among individuals aged 30 to 70.

The risk of stroke increases with every pack of cigarettes smoked each day, thus stopping smoking is the greatest method to reduce your risk of stroke.

how to reduce stroke risk

Genetics can be a significant cause of stroke. Your mother and your father both can possess a particular gene, and this gene has the potential to cause blood clotting.

That implies that you are more likely to suffer a stroke if both your mother and your father carry the gene that causes blood clotting.


More men than women have a risk of stroke, however, it depends on what area of the nation you reside in.

Men with stroke are about twice as likely as women to die from stroke in the U.S., while women are approximately twice as likely to have a stroke as men.

High Triglycerides

Studies have revealed that having high triglycerides in the blood might raise your risk of stroke.

People with a high triglyceride level are generally quite skinny, and they may have a lot of belly fat. However, they are typically in good health.

Some persons have a higher risk of suffering a stroke than others. However, those with a family history of stroke are at increased risk. The major risk factor is excessive blood pressure.

High blood pressure is produced by an excessive build-up of pressure in the arteries of the heart. With high blood pressure, the blood flow to the heart muscle is cut off and cannot obtain the oxygen it requires. If this isn't addressed, high blood pressure can lead to a stroke.

The build-up of plaque on the walls of the arteries of the brain: The build-up of plaque on the walls of the arteries of the brain can cause a clot to break away and migrate to the brain. This can trigger a stroke.

Poor Diet

According to Mayo Clinic, a bad diet and eating habits such as a lack of fruits and vegetables, and too many processed meals may raise your risk of stroke.

A diet that consists largely of junk food and drink is harmful and can lead to heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.

A Sedentary Way of Life

A Sedentary Way of Life is one that includes less physical exercise than what is deemed healthy.

This may result in a stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood sugar levels.

The majority of individuals do not receive enough exercise to stay in shape.

Every week, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity.

As a result, exercise is essential for maintaining healthy body weight, a healthy heart, and normal stress levels.

Individuals with a greater aerobic capacity, or the ability to burn more energy during moderate or intense exercise had a reduced risk of stroke than people with lower aerobic capabilities, according to research.

Exercise is also an important component of the American Heart Association's Heart-Check programme for individuals who have atrial fibrillation, commonly known as an irregular heartbeat.

Sleep Deprivation

According to the American Sleep Association, sufficient sleep is necessary for a healthy brain.

Dementia is twice as prevalent in those who sleep fewer than seven hours each night.

Recognize The Warning Signals

Some of the stroke warning symptoms may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Headaches that persist for 3 weeks or longer
  2. Visionary shifts
  3. Speech Modifications
  4. Walking, talking, and thinking difficulties
  5. Confusion, difficulty moving the right side of your body, and facial and arm drooping 6. Vertigo and lack of equilibrium
  6. Accidents or disability
  7. Changes in mood
  8. Seizures
  9. You may have tingling or numbness in your face, arms, or legs. 

Knowing the warning signals is thus essential for a successful stroke prevention programme.


Follow the recommendations of the American Heart Association.

First and foremost, you should be aware that a stroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect a stroke, call your doctor, and he or she will contact the emergency department at your local hospital.

The American Heart Association suggests the following actions:

  1. Consume a nutritious, well-balanced diet.
  2. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables.
  3. Reduce your sodium intake.
  4. Get at least 7 hours of sleep.
  5. Keep a healthy body weight.
  6. Quit smoking.
  7. If you are overweight, you should lose weight.
  8. Get lots of physical exercise on a regular basis, preferably at least 30 minutes each day.
  9. If you have more than one drink each day, you should stop drinking.
  10. Reduce your stress.
  11. Make time to relax.

Keep An Eye on Your Blood Pressure and Take Your Medications as Directed.

how to reduce stroke risk
High blood pressure, commonly known as hypertension, affects an estimated 70% of people in the United States.

You are more likely to suffer a stroke if you have high blood pressure. You are at much greater risk if you have previously had a stroke.

Obesity, a family history of hypertension, pregnancy, the use of certain medicines, and other factors may all contribute to hypertension.

Following a healthy eating plan, consuming less alcohol, and avoiding stress are just a few of the ways you may reduce your blood pressure.

So, if you have high blood pressure (hypertension), your doctor should monitor and carefully monitor it as part of your routine check-up.

Most people with high blood pressure should keep their blood pressure below 140/90 mmHg (formerly known as systolic blood pressure) to be within the normal range of 120-139/80-89 mmHg.

If you get your blood pressure tested, it is a good idea to check it again after a few months to ensure that it hasn't risen.

Always keep in mind that although hypertension is often the initial risk factor for stroke, it is not the only one.

Consume a Healthy Diet

Eating a nutritious diet is one of the first things to accomplish. Consuming too much-saturated fat, sugar, and salt raises blood pressure, increasing your risk of having a stroke.

Reduce your intake of trans fats, and processed carbs, and added salt to lower your blood pressure.

Make it a daily aim to consume more fruits and vegetables.

As a result, eating more fibre helps reduce your blood cholesterol; thus, consuming more greens and pulses.

All of these plants have a high fibre content. Before making any dietary changes, consult with your doctor.

Consume Vegetables

Eating a variety of veggies is beneficial to your health. According to research, consuming a diet high in veggies may help reduce the risk of having a stroke.

Check out this article from Harvard Medical School for a fascinating look at the science underlying this connection.

how to reduce stroke risk
Consume whole grains.

Whole grains are excellent sources of fibres and are present in foods such as grains, whole-grain cereals, wheat flour, and so on.

People who consume more whole grains have lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Aside from healthy grains, studies have indicated that consuming eggs, soy, and coffee may help reduce your risk of stroke.

It is important to note that a healthy heart and arteries are both required for a healthy stroke, heart disease, and general cardiovascular health.

Maintain A Healthy Weight for Your Height.

It is important to maintain a healthy weight. Obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes may all be caused by eating too much or too little and exercising in an unhealthy manner.

If you are at high risk of becoming obese, it is advised that you explore a weight reduction programme.

But don't give up your favourite meals just because you're a healthy weight.


According to research, participating in regular physical exercise lowers stress, increases mood, and improves the quality of life.

It is, in fact, beneficial to maintain a healthy weight. So, if you are overweight or obese, it is critical that you lose weight.

Every day, you must take measures to exercise. If you are unable to exercise, choose a fitness regimen that is not too difficult for you to lose weight.

Exercise is a fantastic way to reduce stress and enhance heart health.

According to research conducted by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the Department of Health and Human Services, exercise may protect against the majority of cardiovascular illnesses.

Exercise on a regular basis not only makes you look and feel better but may also lower your risk of stroke.

You must keep active in order to maintain your health. Get at least 30 minutes of physical exercise every day, whether it's a stroll, golf, jogging, or weight lifting.

Being physically active lowers your risk of stroke by 6%. Get moving Exercise is a simple way to reduce your risk of having a stroke.

Regular exercise has health advantages that go beyond just preserving your heart.

Physical exercise on a regular basis can help you feel better both emotionally and physically.

how to reduce stroke risk
Avoid The Following Foods

There are many meals that may raise your risk of having a stroke. Among these foods are the following:

  1. Meats that have been processed (such as sausage and ham)
  2. Meats that are red (such as beef)
  3. Carbs that have been refined (such as white rice and white bread)
  4. Sugars added (such as sugar-sweetened beverages)
  5. Trans fats are a kind of fat (such as margarine).

Maintaining a Healthy Diet

A nutritious diet may be very helpful to your health. It is critical to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables as well as a healthy protein-carbohydrate ratio.

This will aid in the maintenance of a healthy weight. You should also pay attention to what you consume to ensure that you are receiving enough protein, calcium, and iron.

The American Heart Association advises consuming meals high in potassium, calcium, and magnesium, minerals required for normal blood pressure and blood flow.

Dietary choices may also help reduce your risk of stroke and other cardiovascular illnesses.

Foods that Help Reduce the Risk

It's never too late to include these items in your diet as long as you follow a balanced diet:

Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds include a lot of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. They are available in ground or flaxseed oil form. Include them in your smoothies or breakfast bowls.

Strawberries: Strawberries include a lot of antioxidants and Vitamin C. They also include phytonutrients and flavonoids, which may protect your heart and help prevent strokes.

If you consume one serving of strawberries each day, you may help reduce your risk of having a stroke.

Salmon: Salmon is high in the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. They have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Omega-3 fatty acids are also beneficial for heart health.

Salmon, in particular, is high in vitamin D, B12, and copper, all of which are good for heart health.

Avocado: Do you know why avocado is good for you? One medium avocado provides approximately 40 calories, 4 grams of fibre, and 25% of your daily vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant phytochemicals.

Potassium-Rich Foods: Eat more potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, peas, and potatoes.

Proteins and lean meats: Proteins and lean meats are essential components of a balanced diet. When in doubt, limit your consumption of red meat, which is rich in saturated fat.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is an important component of good health. It is required for our brains to function correctly.

Sleep deprivation may raise your blood pressure and reduce the length of time you can exercise.

This may have an effect on your heart health and put you at risk for other life-threatening diseases, including high blood pressure and heart disease.

Take Action to Reduce Your High Cholesterol Level

The bad news is that excessive cholesterol affects not just your heart but also your blood arteries that feed your heart and brain, resulting in heart disease and stroke.

The good news is that the only way to reduce your risk of high cholesterol is to take control of it.

Losing weight, for example, may have a significant effect on your heart health.

According to research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, reducing only 5 to 7% of your body weight may reduce your stroke risk by 25%.

Losing just 10 per cent of your body weight can cut your risk by 50 per cent.

how to reduce stroke risk
Control Your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels

How you manage your blood pressure and cholesterol levels can have a big impact on your chances of having a stroke.

That’s because both are linked to an increased risk for stroke. If you know your blood pressure is high, you can take steps to control it by eating healthy, getting physical, and managing stress.

This will help you reduce stroke risk. If you have high cholesterol, you can control it by getting regular medical check-ups and making small lifestyle changes.

It's important to make changes to your lifestyle, including being active and mindful of the foods you eat and how you feel.

Making small changes can make a big difference in your health, especially when you are trying to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.

There are many strategies to help you reduce your blood pressure without medication.

Before Taking Medicines for Lowering Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

Everyone has an inherited risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

But while there are dozens of medications to help keep those numbers in check, no doctor wants to prescribe medications unless it’s absolutely necessary.

When you’re being prescribed a medication, it’s recommended that you consult with a doctor.

You’ll likely be asked to provide an initial prescription to treat your high blood pressure and/or cholesterol.

If you agree to treat these conditions with medication, you’ll be prescribed a drug that works to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.

If you find the treatment successful, you may be offered an additional drug that helps with weight loss and heart health.

Medications and Treatments for Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

Taking medications to help with blood pressure and cholesterol levels is often the first line of defence against stroke.

But if your cholesterol levels are too high, you may need medication to lower them.

It's important to keep your cholesterol levels under control, which can help lower your risk.

Aim for blood cholesterol levels below 200 mg/dl for the average adult.

Your doctor may recommend starting with a statin (a drug that lowers your bad cholesterol) or adding another drug to your regimen.

The truth about the key strategy to reducing the risk of stroke is to reduce your blood pressure.

Also, experts have recommended that everyone with high blood pressure should have their blood pressure below 140/90 and that they keep it there, which is the recommendation for healthy adults.

Don't Smoke Cigarettes or Use Other Tobacco Products

Smoking is bad for you. It increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, anaemia and even cancer of the mouth, oesophagus, pancreas etc.

For many years, smoking was the leading cause of death in the United States.

Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of stroke by up to 45%. Even a one-day reduction in smoking can reduce your risk of heart disease by 7%.

In 2013, smoking accounted for 30 per cent of all deaths, and the following year it accounted for almost two-thirds of the nation's population with more than 46,000 annual deaths from heart disease and stroke.

Smoking has been shown to increase your risk of stroke by 13 times. 
A new study adds that cigarettes not only increase your risk of stroke by up to 25 times, they also increase your risk of lung cancer by 50 per cent.

The best way to avoid smoking is to quit. Therefore, existing smokers should quit for their own health, and smokers who would like to quit should give up cigarettes completely.

Consult your doctor before quitting smoking. Ask them about nicotine replacement therapy and about alternatives like nicotine gum, patches, and lozenges.

Manage Diabetes

Type 2diabetes is on the rise in the U.S. In fact, one in six people in the U.S. has diabetes.

It’s estimated that over 24 million people currently have diabetes in the U.S., while it’s estimated that 79 million people will have it by the year 2050.

The good news is that there are many lifestyle changes you can make to treat and prevent diabetes and there’s no treatment, medication, or surgery that can change your age or sex.

However, you can lose weight and get active to improve your blood glucose control.

Strokes can happen to anyone. When your blood pressure is high, you should be aware of the condition and know your numbers.

Blood pressure is an important risk factor for stroke and there is also an association between diabetes and blood pressure.

how to reduce stroke risk
Take Steps to Avoid Injury

Since strokes are caused by a lack of blood flow to an area of the brain. Injuries to the brain can affect the ability of the brain to function normally which can result in a stroke.

Be Careful on Stairs

Strokes are often caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain. When you fall, get up quickly and make sure you keep your head up.

Never place your head on a step or table, as this can cause a stroke.

Get off of the stairs and away from the edge. If you have a footstool, get on it as quickly as possible.

 Drink Water

Water is essential to your diet. It is a natural blood thinner and muscle relaxant. It helps lower cholesterol.

Just one glass a day of plain water can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by 31%. An added benefit? Drinking water helps you feel full so you eat less.

Go Easy on Red Meat

Study after study shows that the type of meat you eat is more important than the amount for the overall risk of developing stroke.

A recent study from Denmark looked at every single type of red meat you could think of: beef, pork, lamb, venison, horse, game birds, etc.

And it was found that eating red meat was associated with a higher risk of stroke, particularly if you eat a lot of it.

A study in China also found that eating meat (beef, lamb, or pork) and having high levels of testosterone were associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

And that high levels of testosterone are associated with the production of more of the harmful chemical homocysteine, which can contribute to heart disease and stroke.

Therefore, eating red meat can lead to heart disease and stroke if you have high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes but eating mostly white meat may help to reduce your risk of stroke.

Limit Or Avoid Alcohol Consumption.

Alcohol consumption has been shown to increase your risk of stroke.

It’s believed that the increase is associated with blood vessel damage and obstruction caused by excessive intake.

One study found that moderate alcohol consumption per day can be beneficial to one’s heart, but you’re much more likely to have a stroke if you consume more than one drink per day.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that you limit your alcohol intake to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.

how to reduce stroke risk


Now that we have walked you through how to reduce stroke risk, we want you to always remember the bottom line is that being proactive and taking action to lower your stroke risk can dramatically reduce your risk of having a stroke.

If you can lower your blood pressure, for example, you’ll reduce your risk of stroke. The faster you start to reduce your blood pressure, the better.

However, the best way to do this is by changing your diet. If you know that you have high blood pressure and haven’t been diagnosed with hypertension, make an appointment to see your doctor.

It is important to make sure that you follow through with your doctor’s instructions and appointments. An example of this is avoiding certain foods, such as fast foods.

Another example is to reduce stress levels. Studies have shown that when your stress levels rise, your blood pressure goes up.

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