Prevention focuses on the avoidance of a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or a stroke. There are three components to prevention: Health Promotion, Primary Prevention, and Secondary Prevention.

Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations – Prevention

Health Promotion is the process enabling a large number of people (a population) to increase control over and improve their health. It addresses the determinants of health as opposed to the manifestations of ill health. Public health departments frequently lead health promotion initiatives.

Primary Prevention is an individually based, clinical approach to disease prevention. It is directed toward prevention of a disorder in otherwise healthy individuals. Primary prevention recommendations related to individual stroke risk factors emphasize the importance of screening and monitoring those patients at high risk of a first stroke event. It is usually implemented in the primary care setting with a family physician or nurse practitioner.

Secondary Stroke Prevention strives to reduce the risk of recurrent vascular events in individuals who have experienced a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) by addressing risk factors most relevant to stroke, including: lifestyle, hypertension, dyslipidemia, previous stroke or TIA, atrial fibrillation, sleep apnea, and carotid stenosis.

Secondary stroke prevention can be addressed by hospitals, secondary stroke prevention clinics, family physicians/nurse practitioner, and community-based care programs. Secondary prevention issues should be regularly addressed on an ongoing basis following a stroke or TIA.