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Tips for Preventing Stroke from UPMC in Central Pa.

Learn how to protect yourself against a possible stroke by understanding the risk factors. Know that while some risk factors cannot be controlled, others can. Become aware of these risk factors and take action.

Uncontrollable Risk Factors

  • Age. Stroke risk increases for those greater than age 55.
  • Heredity. African-Americans are two times more likely than Caucasians of the same age to have a stroke.
  • Gender. More women have strokes than men because women live longer, but men have strokes at a younger age then women.
  • Medical history. If you have had a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or a "mini-stroke," you are 10 times more likely to have a stroke than someone who has not.

Controllable Risk Factors

  • High blood pressure (the number one risk factor for stroke)
  • Diabetes
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Smoking
  • Obesity/being overweight

Stroke: What's Your Risk?

Be Proactive

Do what you can to change the risk factors you can control.

  • Take your medications as prescribed. This is especially true for heart, blood pressure, blood thinner and diabetes medications. If you can't afford your medications, let your doctor know.
  • Keep your medical appointments.
  • Monitor your health. Check your blood sugar if you are a diabetic. Check your blood pressure.
  • Monitor your weight. Eat healthy and exercise.
  • Know your cholesterol levels. If your LDL or "bad cholesterol" is elevated, then start a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet and take medication if directed.
  • If you smoke, quit! For smoking cessation help, call 717-231-8900.
  • Get educated on stroke.

UPMC Central Pa. Portal

UPMC Central Pa. Portal provides patients across the central Pennsylvania region with secure access to their health information. It is the fastest way to send a message to your doctor, refill prescriptions, get test results, and schedule and manage appointments, including video visits.

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