Stroke Prevention

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You can be at risk for stroke regardless of your age or gender. Women are more likely to die from a stroke than men, and women between the ages of 45-54 are more likely to suffer a stroke than men in the same age group. Additionally, the number of strokes in young and middle-aged people are on the rise. 

Stroke Resources

Find valuable information on prevention and recovery:

Stroke Risk Factors

Eighty percent of strokes are preventable, according to the American Stroke Association. Talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors. Risk factors include:

  • Atrial fibrillation (A-fib)
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Not being active
  • Obesity
  • Poor circulation
  • Smoking

Preventing Stroke

Smoking, obesity, heavy drinking, high blood pressure — all can play a role, as can conditions such as heart disease.

You can make lifestyle changes that can help reduce your chance of getting a stroke.

Diet & Exercise

Consider the following:

  • Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Limit salt and fat
  • Increase your consumption of fish
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation: no more than 1-2 drinks per day

The American Heart Association recommends that you exercise at a moderate intensity for 30 minutes five times per week.

Manage Medical Conditions

You can try to prevent a stroke by:

  • Checking your blood pressure and working with your primary care provider to keep it in safe range 
  • Keeping chronic medical conditions under control, including high cholesterol and diabetes
  • Talking to your doctor about the use of statins, which can help prevent certain kinds of strokes in some people
  • Seeking medical care if you have symptoms of a stroke, even if the symptoms stop
  • Talking to your doctor about your drug usage 

Brain Aneurysms & Stroke

A brain aneurysm happens when the walls of a blood vessel in the brain get weak and balloon out. When a brain aneurysm ruptures (bursts open), it causes a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a type of hemorrhagic stroke. 

In some cases, people find out they have a brain aneurysm before it ruptures and becomes a life-threatening emergency. Our team of experts at UVA Health can determine the risk of your aneurysm rupturing and find the best treatment.

If you have a brain aneurysm, a family history of brain aneurysm, or other risk factors, we may recommend screening or genetic counseling.

Learn about these services and living with an unruptured brain aneurysm

Stroke Prevention After a First Stroke

We're able to provide further stroke prevention after an initial event. Our preventive techniques may involve:

  • A balloon angioplasty or stents in the blood vessels in the neck
  • A carotid endarterectomy, in which the blood vessel is opened and the stroke-causing legion is removed

We may perform these techniques to treat narrowing of the blood vessels of the brain.

Learn more about stroke recovery.