Taking Steps to Prevent Another Stroke

  Taking steps to prevent stroke page 2Taking steps to prevent stroke page one

Download PDF 

American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association Together to End Stroke Taking Steps to Prevent Another Stroke

When you’ve had a stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack), it’s likely that you’re at risk for another. It is important to know the type of stroke you had and its underlying cause to build the best plan to prevent another. If you don’t know the type or cause of your stroke, talk to your doctor about whether more testing is needed.

The good news is you have the power to reduce that risk.

Take steps to build healthy habits like eating right, taking your medicines as prescribed and being as physically active as you’re able. Every healthy choice brings you one step closer to preventing another stroke.

Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke. Work with your health care provider to bring your blood pressure to goal.


Have your cholesterol checked regularly. Medication and healthy lifestyle habits can help bring high cholesterol to goal.

Blood Sugar

Have your blood sugar tested. Some people have diabetes and don’t know it until something, like a stroke, happens.


Cigarette smoking increases the risk of stroke. If you smoke, talk with your health care provider about how to quit.

Physical Activity

Physical activity reduces the risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and maybe stroke itself. It can also improve recovery. Your health care team can help with a plan that’s right for you. 

If you drink alcohol, limit it to one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men. If you don’t drink, don’t start.

Talk with your healthcare provider about: Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) AFib is a quivering or irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots. People with AFib are more likely to have a stroke.

Sometimes a stroke or TIA is the first sign of AFib. If you have AFib, it’s important to treat it to prevent another stroke. Sleep Apnea A person with sleep apnea may have pauses in breathing five to 30 times per hour or more during sleep. It prevents restful sleep and is a risk factor for recurrent stroke.

Diagnosing and treating sleep apnea reduces your risk and may help improve your outcomes.

Aspirin Depending on the type of stroke you had, your health care provider may include aspirin as part of your individual care plan to prevent another stroke.

The American Stroke Association is here for you with information and support:

StrokeAssociation.org Visit our website for information about stroke recovery and prevention. Stroke Family Warmline (888-478-7653) Connecting stroke survivors and their families with an American Stroke Association team member providing support, helpful information or just a listening ear. Stroke Connection Magazine strokeconnection.org Our free digital magazine about life after stroke for stroke survivors and their family caregivers. Support Network strokeassociation.org/supportnetwork

Our online community for stroke survivors and caregivers to connect and share with each other. © Copyright 2019 American Heart Association, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. All rights reserved. American Stroke Association and Together to End Stroke are registered trademarks of the AHA. Unauthorized use prohibited.