Back to School Checklist

As the kids enjoy their remaining time off, you can avoid back-to-school madness by mobilizing now. Here, our Facebook fans share a peek at their late-summer checklists.

See More

Get Involved in Your Child's Education

Getting involved in your children's education is a proven way to improve their school performance -- here's how.

See More

Which Type of Doctor’s Office Should You Visit?

Whether you've sprained an ankle on vacation or just don't want to wait three weeks for a doctor's appointment, you now have more health care options than ever. A variety of clinics, offering a wide range of services from stitches to wellness exams, are popping up in neighborhoods near you.

See More

Your Top Health Insurance Challenges–Solved!

Trying to understand health insurance, knowing how to appeal a health insurance claim, and trying to organize insurance paperwork is tough. In fact, we surveyed over 1,000 women who told us just how difficult it is to understand health insurance. We culled your biggest challenges and got advice from leading health insurance experts.

See More

10 Habits for a Healthy Life

Seems like a new study comes out everyday telling us what to eat, drink do -- it's enough to make your head spin. Deep breaths. Here's what experts say has true staying power, and how to easily follow their insights.

See More

12 Free and Fun Family Activities

Get ready for summer fun on the cheap with these 12 deals and steals for the family.

See More

Improve Your Home's Air Quality

You know that air pollution is bad for the planet. But what's happening to the air inside your home?

See More
Popular in Health & Family

How to Prevent a Stroke

Don't be the victim of a stroke. Here are six strategies that can reduce your risk.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • While there are risk factors for stroke you can't change (age, race, family history), there are many more that you can. Here are six ways to get started now.

      Keep your blood pressure low. High blood pressure (a reading of 140/90 mmHg or higher) increases your stroke risk by four to six times. If you have high blood pressure, take steps to lower it. Controlling blood pressure is one of the most important things you can do.

    • Lower Your Cholesterol

      A total cholesterol level of more than 200 mg/dL puts you at higher risk for stroke. "About half of all strokes are caused by plaque in the carotid arteries," says Richard Lee, M.D., surgical director of the Center for Atrial Fibrillation at Northwestern School of Medicine in Chicago. Those are the arteries that supply the brain with blood. Elevated cholesterol can lead to plaque formation. If diet and exercise don't bring your numbers down, talk to your doctor about prescription cholesterol-lowering drugs, called statins.

    • Find Out if You Have A-Fib

      Atrial fibrillation, or a-fib, as doctors call it, is a condition where one of the top chambers beats out of sync with the rest of the heart. This allows blood to pool, which can lead to a clot that travels to the brain. A-fib accounts for about 20 percent of strokes. Few doctors even realize it's that high, Lee says.

      Here's a quick test to tell if you have an irregular pulse, which can be a sign of atrial fibrillation: Press two fingertips on the opposite wrist and find your pulse. Don't worry about counting beats; just feel for an even, steady drumbeat. It helps to tap your foot along with each beat.

      An irregular beat feels like an extra or missed beat. If you discover this, or if you ever feel like your heart races or flutters for no reason, see a doctor. The effects of a-fib can be controlled with medication or surgery.

    • Stop Smoking

      Smoking doubles stroke risk. If you haven't tried quitting in a while, see your doctor. There are new tools to help you quit. You can also check out, a smoking cessation resource sponsored by the federal government.

    • Watch Your Weight

      Extra baggage overworks your entire circulatory system and raises stroke risk. More younger women are having strokes, and rising obesity rates likely are to blame.

      "Abdominal obesity is a known predictor of stroke in women and may be a key factor in the midlife stroke surge in women," says Amytis Towfighi, M.D., of the neurology department of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

      If you need to lose weight, aim to drop only 1 pound a week while exercising three times a week for 30 minutes at a time (brisk walking works great).

    • Control Your Diabetes

      Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are major risk factors for stroke. And strokes seem to cause more damage if they strike when your blood glucose levels are high. If you have diabetes, make sure you control your blood glucose levels as closely as possible.

    • 7 of 7

    Loading... Please wait...