(DALLAS) -- The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Thursday announced new prevention guidelines for stroke to be published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. The guidelines were last updated in 2006.
According to new research, the guidelines say that emergency room visits are critical opportunities to identify and intervene for patients at high risk for stoke. New prevention information also declares that making healthy lifestyle choices lowers risk of first-time stroke by 80 percent compared to those who make no changes.
The American Heart Association also noted that this is the first time that prevention guidelines address stroke "as a broad continuum of related events."
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States behind heart disease and cancer, though stroke death rates in the U.S. have decreased by over 30 percent in recent years.
"We think the majority of the reduction is coming from better prevention," said Larry B. Goldstein, M.D., director of the Duke Stroke Center in Durham, N.C.
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