Cut your risk
Minimise your chance of a suffering a stroke by following these three steps
Step 1 Know your blood pressure
“High blood pressure is a factor in half of all strokes and the higher yours is, the greater your risk,” says Dr Quinn. “If yours is more than 140/90 you may be prescribed drugs to treat it. the latest advice is to lower blood pressure with smaller doses of two different medications such as an ACe inhibitor and a diuretic, rather than using a higher dose of just one drug.” Get your blood pressure checked by your Gp, practice nurse, or pharmacist.
Step 2 Measure your pulse
An irregular/abnormally fast heart rate may mean you have a condition called Atrial Fibrillation, which is responsible for 20 per cent of strokes. “You can have your heart rhythm checked by your Gp. there’s also an inexpensive smartphone app that pharmacists, practice nurses and even personal trainers in gyms can use to check this for you. We hope to eventually see routine screening for all over 65s,” says Dr Quinn.
Step 3 Stay healthy
At least half of all strokes could be prevented with simple lifestyle changes such as losing weight, eating healthily, giving up smoking, taking regular exercise, and sticking to the recommended alcohol guideline (for men and women) of no more than 14 units – equivalent to about five glasses of wine a week).
■ For more advice on getting healthy fast visit www.yours.co.uk/15minutes-to-great-health