RECENTLY PUBLISHED

THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION/AMERICAN STROKE ASSOCIATION (AHA/ASA) RELEASED UPDATED GUIDELINES ON SECONDARY STROKE PREVENTION, WITH A RECOMMENDATION FOR PFO CLOSURE.

The guidelines state that “it is now considered reasonable to close patent foramen ovale percutaneously in selected patients: those with younger age with nonlacunar stroke or no other cause at any age.”

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Living with a PFO after a Stroke

Stroke impact i Stock 1092112400

During a stroke, brain cells do not get the oxygen they need. This causes brain cells to die. The effects of a stroke depend on where in the brain it occurs and how much cell death it causes.

There are many physical, cognitive and emotional changes that are common after a stroke:

  • Trouble speaking or understanding language
  • Feelings of anger or depression
  • Forgetfulness, confusion
  • Weakness, paralysis, fatigue

How to reduce risk of another stroke

Once you have had a stroke, you are likely to have another one.¹ You have the power to reduce that risk. The American Stroke Association suggests eating healthy meals, taking your medicines as prescribed, and being as physically active as you are able.² Keep in mind that lifestyle changes will not close your PFO.

Learn how PFO closure reduces risk

Advice from the American Stroke Association

BLOOD PRESSURE
High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for stroke. Work with your health care provider to bring your blood pressure to goal.

CHOLESTEROL

Have your cholesterol checked regularly. Medication and healthy lifestyle habits can help lower your cholesterol levels.

BLOOD SUGAR

Have your blood sugar tested. Some people have diabetes, and don’t know it until something, like a stroke, happens.

SMOKING

Cigarette smoking increases the risk of stroke. If you smoke, talk with your health care provider about how to quit.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Physical activity reduces the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and maybe a stroke itself. It can also improve recovery. Your health care team can help with a plan that’s right for you.

ALCOHOL

If you drink alcohol, limit it to 1 drink a day for women or 2 drinks a day for men.

Reference
  1. Benjamin EJ, Muntner P, Alonso A, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2019 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2019;139:e56–e528. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000659
  2. "Preventing Another Stroke." American Stroke Association. American Heart Association, 2021, https://www.stroke.org/en/life-after-stroke/preventing-another-stroke.
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