Could you be at risk for having a stroke? 

Risk Factors You Can Change
Risk Factors You Can Change smoking being overweight
Risk Factors You Can Change not eating enough fruits and vegetables eating too much salt
Risk Factors You Can Change not getting enough exercise drinking too much alcohol
Risk Factors You Can Change any use of illegal drugs
Risk Factors You Can't (Easily) Change
Risk Factors You Can't (Easily) Change having high blood pressure or high cholesterol having diabetes
Risk Factors You Can't (Easily) Change having coronary artery disease or other heart conditions taking some medications

Take our stroke quiz to learn more about your personal risk. You can also sign up for a cardiovascular screening package, which includes a stroke risk assessment. Call 417-269-9482 to register.

Simple lifestyle changes can help control your risk.

Exercise daily

Check with your doctor about an exercise program. Try to exercise with a partner to help you stick to your program. Be sure to make time every day to exercise.

Control your blood pressure

High blood pressure is the greatest risk factor for stroke. Normal adult blood pressure is less than 140/90. If your blood pressure is higher than this, work with your doctor to lower it. If your doctor prescribes medication, be sure to take it as prescribed and don't stop taking it. 

Eating well can also help control your blood pressure. Eat less salt and fat, and eat a balanced diet heavy in fruits, vegetables and whole grains with a little lean protein every day.

Find out if you have AF

People with atrial fibrillation (AF) have a much higher risk for stroke and should be receiving medical treatment.

Find out if you have circulation problems

Stroke can be caused by problems with your heart, arteries and veins, or the blood that flows through them. Your doctor can check for problems with the circulation that supplies blood to your brain. 

Fatty deposits, caused by atherosclerosis, can block the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your brain. These arteries, located on the side of your neck, are called carotid arteries. Blockage here can cause stroke. Your doctor can test for this problem. 

If you have blood problems such as sickle cell disease, severe anemia, or other diseases, work with your doctor to manage these conditions. Circulation problems can be treated with medication. If your doctor prescribes medication, take it exactly as prescribed. 

Find out if you have high cholesterol

Know your cholesterol number. If your cholesterol is high, you may have an increases stroke risk. Lowering your cholesterol may reduce your risk.

Stop smoking

Smoking doubles your risk for stroke. If you stop smoking today, your risk will begin to decrease. If you're ready to quit, check out our tobacco cessation resources. If you stop, within five years your stroke risk may the the same as that of someone who has never smoked.

Drink in moderation

If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. It's important to limit your consumption to no more than two drinks a day. Heavy drinking has been associated with stroke.