Reduce stroke risk

Stroke is not inevitable, even if you have high blood pressure or atrial fibrillation. Preventing or controlling high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation can greatly lower your chances of having a stroke. Here's how:

1. Don't smoke.

2. Get regular physical activity.

3. Maintain a healthy weight.

4. Limit alcohol to no more than two drinks a day for men or one drink a day for women.

5. Eat a healthy diet high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Include low-fat dairy products and limit salt, saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol.

6. Monitor your blood pressure and work to keep it at your goal.

7. Take your medication as prescribed if you have high blood pressure or atrial fibrillation.

Tattoos can hide

skin cancers

Here's a reminder from those hipsters at JAMA Dermatology: Don't get a tattoo that obscures a mole or other skin lesion. You might have to take a close look at it later.

The new issue of the journal mentions a case in which a German man developed a malignant melanoma on a pre-existing nevus (the medical term for a mole or birthmark), within a tattoo. It got noticed because the man was in the process of having the tattoo removed by laser treatment.

Docs advise not getting tats too close to such pigmented areas, because they can obscure potential cancerous lesions.

If a mole, birthmark or other skin lesion hiding in a tattoo looks suspicious - change of symmetry, border, color or size - docs recommend: excise it first and ask questions later.

In general, tattoos shouldn't be done on or near a mole or other pigmented skin lesion. "If they are, the tattoos should never be treated by laser," Dr. Laura Pohl writes.