“Stroke: Strategies for Primary Prevention”
This article educates both patients and health care providers alike about preventing strokes before it becomes too late. Strokes are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in North America. If the population becomes educated about the prevention of strokes, one day it will no longer be a major cause of death in the United States. Primary prevention involves a program of activities directed at improving general well-being while also involving specific protection for selected diseases. Primary prevention of stroke includes lifestyle modifications and measures to control blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes mellitus, and atrial fibrillation. Lowering blood pressure in patients with hypertension prevents both types of stroke, which are hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke. Hemorrhagic stroke is caused by the rupture of blood vessels in the brain. Ischemic stroke, which is the most common type of stroke, is caused by an interruption in the flow of blood to the brain. This occurs when a blood clot interrupts blood flow to the brain.
In regards to high cholesterol, studies suggest that high levels are associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke. Treatment with statins can reduce the risk of stroke by 25 percent. Diabetic patients have more complex theories in preventing stroke In them. Evidence connecting glucose control with stroke reduction is lacking. Good glucose control and strict treatment of hypertension and hyperlipidemia in patients with diabetes mellitus are recommended. The risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation and the role of anticoagulation depend on factors such as age and the presence of comorbid conditions. Aspirin is controversial in regards to preventing stroke as a primary prevention. Aspirin, as well as other anti-platelet agents are highly effective for secondary prevention after a stroke or transient ischemic attack, so it is better for the patient to take after the...
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