One Simple Way to Avoid a Stroke: Monitor Your Blood Pressure

The consequences of a stroke can be mild – or tragic – as was sadly the case with 90210 star Luke Perry.

While strokes are more prevalent in older adults, an increasing number of stroke survivors are between the ages of 18 to 65, with a 44% rise in the number of young adults hospitalized due to stroke in the past decade. This may be thanks to stress, smoking, physical inactivity, poor nutrition, obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes … and high blood pressure.

Which is why monitoring your blood pressure is one simple way to avoid a stroke.

Dr. Kyle Chapple, a board-certified neurosurgeon with Atlantic NeuroSurgical Specialists, offers these simple self-monitoring and prevention tips if you have high blood pressure:

  • Take your blood pressure daily at the same time every day.
  • Take your blood pressure sitting up and laying down. Differences between the two readings could alert your doctor to a problem that can be treated to decrease your risk of a stroke.
  • Visit your doctor routinely.

If you don’t have high blood pressure, Dr. Chapple urges you to have an annual physical. Your primary care physician can compare your blood pressure on a year-to-year basis to identify any early signs of potential issues.

“High blood pressure is most easily managed when it’s identified early,” Dr. Chapple notes. “Follow these simple precautions … because once you are visiting me – instead of your primary physician for those annual checks – you are in a very different medical condition.”