August 15, 2017 – Risk Factor Control
Anchor lead: How can you reduce your risk of a second stroke or TIA if you’ve had one? Elizabeth Tracey reports
Your chance of having a second stroke or transient ischemic attack if you’ve already had one remains increased for up to five years after the event, a recent study of thousands of people revealed. Rebecca Gottesman, a stroke expert at Johns Hopkins, says risk factors for both having such an event initially as well as recurrence are well known.
Gottesman: If you have hypertension and you have a stroke you should most definitely be treating your hypertension. If you have diabetes and you have a stroke or a TIA you should be treating that. This reinforces the long term consequences either associated with the underlying risk factors for stroke or TIA or from stroke or TIA itself. I think the message is the same whether it’s related to the event itself or the underlying risk factors for the event, which is these are risk factors we know how to control, there are medications for, we know that there are lifestyle changes that can affect some of these, and this study reinforces the importance of trying to control some of those risk factors. :31
Gottesman notes that lifestyle factors such as smoking and exercise are also modifiable and should be taken into account when developing a strategy for reducing cardiovascular disease risk. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.