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One of our Cardiologists and co-founder of LabFinder, Robert Segal, MD, was interviewed by Prevention to discuss how to reduce your risk of a stroke

He’s quoted as saying:

“Men over the age of 40, women over the age of 50, smokers, people with a genetic predisposition or family history of heart disease, people suffering from obesity and a lack of physical activity, and people with high cholesterol and high blood pressure are at highest risk,” he explains. “But the truth is that everyone is at risk for heart disease, which can lead to heart attacks.”

We don’t talk about the epidemic of heart disease nearly enough, Dr. Segal says

“An ischemic stroke occurs when there’s a blood blot or an obstruction in the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain. This blockage accounts for about 87 percent of stroke cases,” Robert Segal, MD, cardiologist and co-founder of LabFinder.com, explains. “A transient ischemic stroke, often referred to as a mini stroke, is caused by a serious but temporary clot. And a hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a ruptured blood vessel, such as an aneurysm or arteriovenous malformations,” Dr. Segel adds.

“If you don’t have high blood pressure, it is recommended you check once every two years. Some doctors would even say three to five years, especially if you fall within a relatively younger age bracket,” Dr. Segal says.

In fact, eating a heart-healthy diet can lower your blood pressure by 11 mm Hg, and when you lower your sodium intake, it can lower your blood pressure even more by 5 to 6 mm Hg, Dr. Segal says. “One should also avoid foods high in cholesterol, which can cause blood clots that eventually lead to a stroke,” Dr. Segal notes.

“When there is too much water in our body, our blood pressure increases. Sodium tells our body to store or retain more water. But potassium is the key to balancing your body’s salt intake, since it helps regulate fluid balance,” Dr. Segal explains.

Dr. Segal says, “It’s best to avoid taking potassium as a supplement—always choose the natural option.”

“If you find yourself sitting down for more than 8 hours every day, then you’re most likely not getting enough movement. This increases your risk of stroke, high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease,” Dr. Segal says.

View the original piece placement on Prevention.