Contracting COVID-19 can increase the risk of a stroke, also known as a cerebrovascular accident (CVA). A stroke occurs when an artery is blocked by a clot or ruptures.

You can reduce the risk of experiencing a stroke by making healthy lifestyle changes. These are the most important measures you can take to reduce the risk of having a stroke:

– Maintain your blood pressure within normal levels

– Quit smoking, if you smoke

– Keep blood sugar (glucose) levels within normal values

– Seek treatment if you have heart disease

– Maintain your cholesterol within normal levels

– Maintain a healthy weight

– Be physically active

– Have a healthy diet

Making these healthy changes will also help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

You may also be at risk of experiencing a stroke if you:

– Have had a stroke in the past or a transient ischemic attack (TIA), also known as a mini-stroke.

– Smoke or use nicotine-containing vaporizers.

– Consume alcohol excessively.

– Use certain drugs like cocaine or heroin.

– Have diabetes.

– Don’t engage in sufficient physical activity.

– Have overweight or obesity.

– Have certain heart problems, such as coronary artery disease (heart disease), irregular heart rhythm (including atrial fibrillation), or issues with a heart valve.

– Have high cholesterol.

A transient ischemic attack occurs when blood flow to the brain is temporarily blocked, usually for a few minutes or hours. After having a transient ischemic attack, you have a higher risk of experiencing a more extensive stroke.

Never ignore a transient ischemic attack.

More information and resources:


Made possible in part by the Centro Cultural Mexicano through a grant from the Washington State Department of Health.


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