1. Top 3 reasons for having a stroke? High blood pressure, high blood pressure and high blood pressure.
2. Check your own risk of a stroke or heart disease in next 10 years, or of one you love.
3. Prevent strokes: 7 ways.
One person in every 3 UK adults has high blood pressure. This can lead to heart diseases, strokes, dementia  and kidney diseases. Half those who have high blood pressure are not receiving any treatment . Important for your health, so next page is about how to manage your blood pressure better.
[Source: Public Health England, Jan. 2017]
2. Check your own risk of a stroke or heart disease in next 10 years
The UK NHS also lets you enter your blood pressure reading online, to find out what it means.
3. Prevent strokes: 7 steps
Step 1. If you smoke, stop now, using a free NHS local stop smoking service. Stop smoking options: Public Health England guidance, August 2018. Almost as important a cause of strokes as high blood pressure. Smoking one cigarette per day carries a risk of heart disease and stroke much greater than expected: around half that for people who smoke 20 per day. No safe level of smoking exists for heart and stroke diseases. So quit instead of cutting down . Within four to five years of quitting smoking, stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker [WHO].
Step 2. Improve your lifestyle, with a healthier diet, less alcohol, more exercise, (so lose weight!), cut down on caffeine, reduce the salt you eat, and, get a good night’s sleep. “Lifestyle management is the main reason for high blood pressure, and we have to get to grips with it.” [Nov. 2017, 35]
Step 4. Want to know more about preventing yourself having a stroke, what it is like to have a stroke and its problems? Look at Jim Whyte’s video story.
Step 5. See your GP if:
- You notice a sudden change in your heartbeat, and if your heart beat rate is often lower than 60 or above 100 beats per minute.
- Always seek medical help and advice if you have a fast heartbeat” (over 100 beats a minute), says the NHS about Atrial Fibrillation (AF). Check your pulse! Or ask your Pharmacy to do it.
- Or if you’re experiencing other symptoms of ‘AF’, such as dizziness or shortness of breath see NHS guide.
- You have chest pain.
Step 6. Go to hospital very quickly after a suspected stroke. The NHS tells you about tests in hospital to confirm the diagnosis, find the cause, and brain scans to find which part of the brain is affected . Everyone with suspected stroke should receive a brain scan within one hour.
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page updated 13 May 2021. © 2021 social enterprise Diabetes-cutmyrisks.co.uk.™ Ltd.