News article

Latest updates from American Heart Association to prevent strokes

Posted:  Friday, November 07, 2014

Eating a Mediterranean diet or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, regular physical activity and keeping a check on the blood pressure could reduce the risk of a first time stroke, says the latest guideline established by the American Heart Association.

Published in the journal Stroke, the committee reviewed existing guidelines and updated the recent guidelines with use of randomised clinical trials and some observational studies. The updated guidelines recommend the following to reduce the risk of stroke.

• Consumption of a Mediterranean diet or DASH diet further supplemented with nuts. Both these diet emphasise on consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, poultry and fish and cutting back on saturated fats from red meat, butter, cheese and full-fat dairy which make them healthy.

• Regular monitoring of blood pressure.

• If an individual is diagnosed with pre-hypertension, then adopting healthy lifestyle changes such as increased physical activity, healthy diet and managing weight are essential to prevent the transition to high blood pressure.

• Reduction of sodium content in diet by reducing salt intake as sodium is most commonly available from salt.

• Abstinence from smoking is recommended. Smoking increases the risk of stroke in women who are on oral birth control pills and those who experience migraines with aura. Second hand smoke must also be avoided as it raises the risk of heart attack too.

"We have a huge opportunity to improve how we prevent new strokes because risk factors that can be changed or controlled, especially high blood pressure, account for 90 percent of strokes,” said the lead author of the study James Meschia. Although not fatal in many cases, stroke can lead to years of physical, emotional and mental impairment. Thus, by bringing about simple lifestyle modifications could be the most easiest and cost-effective way to reduce the risk of stroke.

The study link - Click Here!