American Heart Association's 7 steps to reduce stroke risk

June 7, 2013 2:08:42 PM PDT
Strokes are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of long term disability.

The American Heart Association has come up with what it calls "Life's Simple Seven."

They are health factors that can score your risk for stroke.

Almost 800,000 people in the U.S. suffer a stroke every year, and every four minutes, an American dies of a stroke.

Scientists studied information on almost 23,000 black and white Americans age 45 and older.

They found that relatively small changes in lifestyle habits can significantly reduce your stroke risk.

They've created a risk scoring system based on just seven criteria:

  • Manage blood pressure

  • Control cholesterol

  • Be physically active

  • Control blood sugar

  • Keep weight down

  • Eat a healthful diet

  • Don't smoke

Researchers assigned points based on how well the subjects lived up to the criteria.

They found the most important for stroke prevention was having good blood pressure.

Those patients with the highest points had an overall 60% reduction in stroke risk.