How do I reduce the risk of a stroke?
There are a number of causes of stroke but one of the causes involves the heart. A type of abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation (AF), can increase the risk of a stroke occurring. AF can result in the formation of blood clots in the heart that lead to a stroke. About 1 in 3 of all strokes in Australia occur because of atrial fibrillation. Even so, many people go through their whole lives with AF and don’t have a stroke.Better care is helping people reduce the risk of stroke. There are steps we can all take that can reduce the risk. By cutting out smoking, managing your cholesterol and maintaining a healthy weight, you can take big steps to reduce your risk.
What treatments are available?
For people with AF there are a number of treatment options that can reduce the risk of stroke, by reducing the chance of blood clots forming:
- Blood thinner medications such as warfarin, apixaban, rivoroxaban or dabigatran.
- A procedure to remove or block a small area of the heart called the left atrial appendance where most of the blood clots form in atrial fibrillation.
Your care team will help you understand if either treatment is right for you.