Health Beat: Ways to prevent stroke you might not know | Health Beat

SAN DIEGO – Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. Every four minutes, someone dies. How can you lower your chances of being one of them? First, find out if you’re at risk.

“The risk factors are usually the same — smoking, aging, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol,” said Dr. Mahmoud Malas, chief of vascular and endovascular surgery at the University of California San Diego.

Maintaining a healthy diet, quitting smoking, and exercising regularly can improve your odds, but there are other, little-known ways to defend yourself. One is flossing. Some studies have shown improved gum health may slow the progression of atherosclerosis, or narrowing of the arteries.

“The problem with this blockage is that little pieces of plaque break off and goes to the brain and cause an embolic stroke,” Malas explained.

Also, a recent analysis found consuming one to three cups of

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