Managing your risk of carotid artery disease


Who is at risk for carotid artery disease?

  • Diabetes
  • High blood-fat levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Lack of exercise
  • Obesity
  • Sleep apnea
  • Tobacco use

What are treatments for carotid artery disease?

Carotid endarterectomy

Carotid stenting

Are there ways to reduce the risk of developing carotid artery disease?

  • Control chronic conditions. Manage any chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • Consider limiting your salt intake. Reducing sodium can help lower your risk of developing high blood pressure.
  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Healthy foods provide valuable nutrients for your body, which may protect you from a stroke.
  • Exercise regularly. Being physically active can improve the health of your blood vessels and heart.
  • Limit cholesterol and fat intake. This may help reduce the accumulation of plaque in your arteries.
  • Limit your alcohol intake. Drinking alcohol in excess increases your risk for carotid artery disease.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces your risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes and other health risks.
  • Quit smoking or don’t start. After just a few years, a nonsmoker’s and a former smoker’s risk of stroke are comparable.
  • Request an appointment with a vascular medicine specialist.
  • Learn about peripheral artery disease—another type of arterial disease.
  • Discover how genetic testing gives insight into cardiac conditions.

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