Factors Which Can Increase your Stroke Risk

Factors Which Can Increase your Stroke Risk
by Jennifer Elliot | December 12, 2012

A stroke or what is sometimes known as a brain attack, is a medical condition which comes about when the blood flow to a certain part of the brain stops, consequently resulting in that part becoming damaged.

While men, women and children of any change can suffer from stroke, most victims are of an age greater than 55. And while this is a condition that can occur spontaneously and there is no way it can be controlled, there are certain risk factors for stroke that if controlled, can decrease the likelihood of its occurrence. The good news is that eighty percent of all strokes can be prevented from bringing about full scale results. As a result, the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is by knowing how to identify risk factors for stroke and knowing how to handle them. Here are a few that should help you get started.

High Blood Pressure

This is one of the primary risk factors for stroke, although it comes in the category of symptoms that can be potentially treatable. When your blood pressure increases beyond 120/80 millimeters of mercury, the risk of stroke becomes real. Make sure that you consult your doctor so he can help you decide a target blood pressure that needs to be achieved. This is done by combining medicine with a specific diet and exercise routine, taking into consideration whether or not you suffer from conditions like diabetes.

High Cholesterol:

Another very major risk factor for stroke is cholesterol. This needs to be treated or controlled immediately if it is found to be beyond healthy levels. This is due to the fact that when your body’s cholesterol levels exceed the normal and healthy amount, the extra cholesterol tends to build up in the form of cholesterol deposits in the body. This hampers the flow of blood which can bring about a stroke. Not only that, but high cholesterol also increases the chances of heart diseases, another major risk factor for stroke.

Lifestyle Choices:

Here is a risk of several lifestyle choices that many of us commonly adopt without realizing that they are potentially hazardous and included in the list of risk factors for stroke. Identify these habits and try to change them if they are a big part of your lifestyle, as you are compromising your life without realizing it.

Smoking:

Studies have shown that 18.9% of all strokes are caused by excessive smoking. The best decision to make if you are a smoker is to quit. Get assistance from your friends, family and doctor in helping you do so.

Alcohol:

Binge drinking and regularly consuming large amounts of alcohol is one of the risk factors for stroke.

Diet:

A diet which consists mainly of high fat and excessively salty food can bring about high blood pressure which increases the risk of a stroke.

Inactivity:

A lack of exercise is a major contributor to stroke risks. People who are physically inactive are subject to almost twice the risk of suffering from a stroke as those who are not.

Other Factors:

Other risk factors of stroke which are frankly beyond anyone’s control include:

  • Personal or family history which determines whether you are genetically prone to strokes.
  • Being more than 55 years of age.
  • Ethnicity: African Americans have a greater risk of suffering from strokes.
  • Gender: Men have a higher risk of strokes.

About the Author - Jennifer Elliot

Jennifer Elliot takes her Nutrition (and yours) very seriously! She believes that the strongest weapon we have against all diseases, ailments and conditions is Nutrition. She also widely promotes the importance of exercise to maintain optimal health. Keep an eye out for Jennifer’s articles to remain updated on how to lead a nutritious life!

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