"Stroke is potentially one of the most devastating illnesses that we see, and it's especially tragic when simply taking good care of one's blood pressure or some other preventive measure might have averted it," says Dr. Thomas Lee, MD, co-editor in chief of the Harvard Heart Letter.
There are two basic categories of stroke risk: lifestyle risks and medical risks. Among smokers, that habit is by far the most important lifestyle risk. Nothing will do more to prevent a stroke than quitting. Other lifestyle changes that can help cut stroke risk are:
losing weight if needed
consuming alcohol only in moderation
cutting back on sodium (salt)
Several underlying medical conditions can increase the odds of having a stroke. These include high blood