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6) Have a healthy diet

An unhealthy diet increases the risk of stroke, as well as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Excessive salt and alcohol consumption contributes to high blood pressure. Start today with a healthier diet that has an appropriate calorie intake and is high in fibre and low in cholesterol; reduce your salt intake.

7) Exercise regularly

Stroke risk is higher with a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise at least 3-5 times a week, 30-60 minutes each time. Find an exercise regime that suits your lifestyle and personality. Regular exercise helps to reduce obesity and also aids in the prevention and management of high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.

8) Take your medication as instructed

If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, it is important to take your medication as instructed by your doctor, even if you feel fine. High blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol can be effectively controlled with medication. Not taking the prescribed medication will increase your risk of stroke.

9) Have regular health screening

Have yearly health checks to monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels once you are over 40 years of age. By adopting a regular health screening regime, these stroke risk factors can be detected early.

10) Know the signs of stroke — remember FAST

A stroke is sometimes preceded by warning symptoms called a transient ischaemic attack (TIA). A TIA is an attack of stroke symptoms that resolves completely after a few minutes. However, a TIA is often followed by a stroke which can cause disability and death. Thus, it is important to go to a hospital emergency department as soon as possible if you experience symptoms of a TIA.

Remember FAST to recall the symptoms of stroke or TIA:

F is for facial drooping when the person is asked to smile;

A is for arm weakness where the arm drifts when raised;

S is for speech that is slurred or cannot be understood; and

T is for time to act fast by calling 995 and getting to a hospital as soon as possible.

Read the previous page for the first five tips to prevent stroke.

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Ref: Q15