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Can I reduce my risk if I've already had a stroke?
Take prescribed medication
Regular check-ups
Lifestyle changes
Find out more

Can I reduce my risk if I've already had a stroke?

Yes. Although your risk of having a stroke is higher if you have already had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (also called a TIA or mini-stroke), you can reduce your risk of another stroke. It's important that you take the medication that you're prescribed, and make any lifestyle changes you need.

Ask your GP about the help and support available to you.

Take prescribed medication

If you have a medical condition that is increasing your risk of stroke, make sure you take the medication you're prescribed. If you have any questions about your medication, go back to your doctor or pharmacist and ask.

Tell them if you are worried about side effects, as there will often be an alternative that you can take. Never stop taking your medication without talking to your GP first.

Regular check-ups

As we age, our arteries become harder and narrower, making them more likely to become blocked. However, some medical conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes can speed up the process and increase your risk of having a stroke.

if you're over 40, regular check-ups will pick up on any problems. Contact your GP practice to arrange a check.

If you're black or from a South Asian family, you can have a diabetes check from the age of 25.

If you have any risk factors such as being overweight or smoking, or have a health condition linked to stroke, contact your GP for advice about any checks you need.

Your GP can test you for the following conditions and give you advice on how to treat them:

Lifestyle changes

You can help to reduce your risk of a stroke by making some healthy lifestyle choices. Whether it's your diet, activity levels, smoking or drinking, it's never too late to make a change.

1. Cut down on alcohol

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Regularly drinking too much alcohol(link is external) raises your risk of a stroke. In the UK, the government advises that to keep health risks low, it's best to drink no more than 14 units a week, and to spread the units over the week. The limit is the same for men and women.

2. Stop smoking

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Smoking(link is external) doubles your risk of dying from a stroke. But the minute you quit, your risk of a stroke starts to drop right away. Stopping smoking could be one of the best things you ever do for your health, and there is lots of

3. Stay a healthy weight

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Being overweight or obese(link is external) can raise your risk of a stroke. Extra weight affects your body in many ways, such as raising the risk of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, which are both linked to stroke.

4. Eat healthily

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Eating a healthy, balanced diet(link is external) can help to lower your risk of things like high blood pressure and diabetes. Even making small changes to your eating habits can make a difference to your overall health, particularly if you have been told that you are at risk of having a stroke or TIA.

5. Be as active as you can

Keeping active icon. An icon of a person walking.

Being physically active(link is external) can help to reduce your risk of a stroke. Moving around can also help your emotional wellbeing by releasing chemicals into your brain that make you feel better.

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