(NEW YORK) — The American Heart Association put out a list this week of the seven health factors that can increase your risk of suffering a stroke.
Nearly 795,000 Americans suffer a stroke every year, making strokes the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States, and a leading cause of disability.
Researchers analyzed data from nearly 23,000 Americans age 45 and older and created a scoring system based on seven criteria. Those seven criteria were:
Manage blood pressure
Be physically active
Control blood sugar
Keep weight down
Eat a healthful diet (and)
Each patient was given a grade from zero to two in each of the above categories. For each point gained, a patient’s stroke risk decreased by 8 percent. Patients with a total score of 10 or higher saw a 60 percent drop in their stroke risk. Comparatively, those with a score between five and nine were 40 percent likely to suffer a stroke than those with a score between zero and four.
According to the study, the most important factor in stroke prevention was having good blood pressure.
For Americans, regardless of race, a better score in the AHA’s seven criteria was linked to a reduced risk of stroke.
However, blacks generally had worse overall scores, highlighting the added importance for black Americans to improve their scores in the “simple seven” factors.
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