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Top Risk Factors of a Stroke

Aryan Sharma

A stroke takes place owing to a decrease or blockage in the blood supply of the brain. Any person experiencing this condition will need immediate stroke treatment. During a stroke, your brain shall not receive an adequate amount of nutrients or oxygen, and its cells shall start to die. There are many symptoms of a stroke, including dizziness, slurred speech, vision problems, severe headache, confusion, and weakness in the body.

Stroke is cerebrovascular disease. This implies that this condition affects the blood vessels responsible for feeding oxygen to your brain. Your health may suffer significantly if your brain does not receive enough oxygen. Therefore, strokes are a medical emergency and have to be treated at once.

Types of stroke

  • Ischemic stroke: This condition takes place due to narrowed or blocked arteries. The treatment for ischemic stroke focuses on the restoration of the proper flow of blood to the brain. This stroke treatment starts by taking drugs that not only break down clots but prevent others from forming. Doctors might also administer certain blood thinners or an injection of tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) in this condition. TPA is especially effective in dissolving clots. It is administered by using a catheter to remove the clot physically or directly into an artery. Angioplasty is another popular treatment option. In this procedure, the surgeon inflates a balloon inside a narrowed artery with the usage of a catheter. They shall eventually insert a stent or mesh tube into the opening to prevent the artery from becoming narrow again.  
  • Hemorrhagic stroke:  This condition takes place when blood leaks into the brain. The treatment of this condition is focused on managing the bleeding and reducing the pressure on the brain. Hemorrhagic stroke treatment usually starts with taking certain drugs meant to reduce pressure in the brain and control the blood pressure level. If the stroke is induced by an aneurysm in a blood vessel that might burst, a procedure is followed by the surgeon to shrink it. They ideally place small clamps at the bottom of the aneurysm or try filling it with detachable coils to stop the blood flow.

Risk factors for a stroke

Many factors may increase your risk of experiencing a stroke. While many of them can be managed, a few of them can be reversed or changed. If you find yourself at high risk, as per the following conditions, then you need to take special care of your health. Going for regular health checkups can aid in timely diagnosis and stroke treatment.

Here are the prime risk factors for a stroke
  • High blood pressure: This is among the biggest causes of stroke. Having a pressure of 140/90 or higher may cause damage to the arteries that supply blood to the brain. Any person having high BP or hypertension must seek out medical assistance to manage the condition.
  • Heart disease: This is the second leading risk factor for a stroke. Heart disease may involve irregular heartbeat, or/and defective heart valves, which is a major cause of stroke among elderly individuals. Patients may also suffer from clogged arteries due to fatty deposits.
  • Diabetes: As opposed to any person without this condition, people with diabetes are at a higher risk for stroke.
  • Heredity or genetics: If anyone in your immediate family has had a stroke, then your chance of facing this condition automatically increases.
  • Smoking: Cigarette smoking can result in fatty buildup in the main neck artery, while nicotine makes blood pressure go up.
  • History of TIAs: TIA or transient ischemic attacks are often called mini-strokes. They have short-lived symptoms that are similar to a stroke. If you have had one TIA or more, then you would be at a high risk of stroke.
  • High red blood cell count: A considerable increase in the red blood cells in the body shall make the blood thicker and clots more likely. This will invariably increase the risk for stroke.
  • High blood cholesterol and lipids: Having high cholesterol levels can lead to the hardening or thickening of the arteries. This situation is caused by plaque buildup. Plaque refers to the deposits of fatty substances, calcium, and cholesterol. Having plaque buildup on the inside of the artery walls may reduce the amount of blood flow to the brain. A stroke takes place if the blood supply to the brain is cut off.
  • High alcohol consumption: Having beyond two drinks a day can raise your blood pressure level, and ultimately lead to stroke.
  • Age: The possibility of having a stroke increases for people substantially as they cross the age of 55. Their chance of having a stroke almost doubles after this age.
  • Gender: While men suffer from stroke more than women, usually a greater number of women die from this condition.

Obesity and lack of exercise may also contribute to an increase in the risk of having a stroke. Hence, to prevent such a condition, you must be proactive about maintaining good health.


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