Every year, more than 795,000 people have a stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of those, the CDC notes, about 25 percent occur in those who have already suffered a stroke. This includes both ischemic strokes, where a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain, and hemorrhagic strokes, when an artery in the brain breaks open.
“One in four people who have a stroke may have another,” says Dr. Feliks Koyfman, a neurologist and director of stroke services at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens. The risk of a second stroke is elevated whether someone has a transient ischemic attack (TIA), known as a mini-stroke, or a regular stroke.
However, Dr. Koyfman adds, about 80 percent of recurrent strokes may be prevented by healthy lifestyle changes such as controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, taking medication, and getting exercise. “Just by doing a few simple things, you can greatly reduce your chance of a second stroke,” he says.