Risk Factors of Stroke
There are numerous factors that can influence a stroke. The more of these factors you have, the more likely you are to have a stroke. Some common risk factors include:
- Family history of stroke
The older you get, the higher your chances of having a stroke and stroke is more common among men. Unfortunately, you have no control over these stroke risk factors. But there are several other risk factors of stroke that can be controlled and actually lower the chances of having a stroke.
Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA)
TIA is mini stroke and also a strong warning of a real stroke occurring in the future. If you can identify the symptoms and have them treated by a doctor the chances of having a stroke in the future decrease.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure also known as hypertension is the most important risk factor for stroke. It can cause damage to the blood vessel walls and eventually lead to a stroke. You can control your blood pressure with a healthy diet and lifestyle. The lower your blood pressure, the lower the chances of having a stroke.
Cigarette smoking reduces the oxygen in the blood and increases blood pressure.
High cholesterol levels can cause blood vessel disease, which often leads to stroke. You can lower you cholesterol by eating foods that are low in saturated fats. Lean meats and low-fat dairy products also lower cholesterol levels. Though medication can be prescribed, a healthy diet and lifestyle is still very important.
Poor Diet and Exercise
Your risk of high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and stroke are greatly increased when you are overweight and inactive. To lower your chances of stroke it is important to maintain a balance between food intake and exercise in order to maintain a healthy body weight.
Obesity or being overweight increases the risk of stroke. Excessive body fat can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Excessive drinking increase the risk of stroke. By limiting alcohol consumption and following the recommended daily intake of alcoholic beverages you can reduce your risk of stroke.
You have a higher risk of stroke when you have an irregular heartbeat due to atrial fibrillation or AF. It is important to see a doctor if you experience palpitations, weakness, faintness or breathlessness.
Though it is a less common risk factor of stroke, fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) is condition where not all of the arteries that carry blood thoughout the body develop properly. Fibrous tissue grows in the walls of the arteries, causing them to narrow and decreasing blood flow.
FMD may damage arteries to the brain, interrupting blood flow to the brain and causing a stroke. It may also lead to bleeding in the brain, causing a hemorrhagic stroke.