Ensuring a lifestyle that is healthy decreases the chances of incurring stroke for the first time, guidelines from the American Stroke Association and the American Heart Association stated.

Likewise, since more and more Americans are utilizing emergency room facilities to gain advantage of their health care privileges, ER physicians can identify those who have the tendency to have stroke, to refer and start therapy for prevention.

Updated starting 2006, these recommendations have been published in Stroke’s December issue. Due to the aging process and obesity, there are more strokes that incur. According to figures, around 795,000 occur a year, with 77 percent of those happening to a person the first time. However, deaths due to this illness decreased, experts state.

The lead author of the guideline, and director of the Duke Stroke Center (Durham, N.C.), Dr. Larry B. Goldstein, said that there was a decrease of 30 percent in the cases of mortality due to stroke. This was brought about by improved means of prevention, he added.

To go for this further, one needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle: not smoking, exercising, keeping up to healthy weight, as well as consuming vegetables and fruits.Nothing else can compare to that, Goldstein emphasized.
Maintaining an optimum cholesterol as well as blood pressure level will also reduce the risk for stroke.

The authors also reiterate the spectrum behind stroke: ischemic stroke, that involving a vessel that has been blocked; hemorrhagic or non-ischemic stroke, wherein a vessel in the brain has bled; as well as transient ischemic attack, the temporary type which can lead to a graver kind.

The measures are mostly similar with one another, Goldman said. Individuals must be in control of their healthy lives. He pointed out that to be able to treat stroke is to not have one.
There are other prevention means which need to be taken note of:

- Genetic screening: not available for the public (mostly for those who are at risk only)

- Surgery or stent treatment: done only in a case-to-case basis

- Neck arteries’ narrowing screening: not preferred

- Aspirin use: only advised for those who have conditions which outweigh the risks of preventing stroke rather than the bleeding caused by this drug.

Stroke is known to be the third most prevalent cause of mortality in the US, next to diseases of the heart as well as cancer. This is also a main cause of disability.

Dr. Ralph L. Sacco, the University of Miami’s neurology chairman and professor, also the American Heart Association’s president, also believes in the promotion of a healthy lifestyle to combat stroke and heart disease.

The association mentioned emphasizes what they call as the “Life’s Simple 7” or the seven factors which can optimize health.

Included in the list are: maintaining normal blood pressure levels, cholesterol, as well as eating healthily, keeping an optimum weight and not smoking.He reiterates that Americans must be in control of their health too.