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Risk Factors For Stroke

High blood pressure - High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for stroke

Increasing age - As you get older, the chance of having a stroke does increase. However, many older people will go through life without having a stroke. You can reduce the risk of stroke by making lifestyle choices.

Male Sex Gender - Stroke is more prevalent if you are a male. While you cannot control your gender, you can reduce the risk of stroke by lifestyle choices.

Heredity (family history) - The risk of stroke is greater in people who have a family history of stroke.

Prior stroke - The risk of stroke for someone who has already had a stroke increases the risk of a second stroke but this risk decreases over time.

Transient ischaemic attacks (T.I.A.s) - TIA’s are "mini strokes" that produce stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage. They are strong predictors of future permanent stroke.

Smoking - In recent years studies have shown cigarette smoking to be an important risk factor for stroke. The nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke damage the circulation system in many ways.

Diabetes mellitus - Diabetes is an additional risk factor for stroke and is strongly linked with high blood pressure

Carotid artery disease - The carotid arteries in your neck carry blood to your brain. A carotid artery damaged by atherosclerosis (a fatty build-up of plaque in the artery wall) may become blocked by a subsequent blood clot, which may result in a stroke.

Heart disease - A diseased heart increases the risk of stroke. In fact, people with heart problems have more than twice the risk of stroke as those with hearts that work normally. Atrial fibrillation (the rapid, uncoordinated beating of the heart's upper chambers), in particular, raises the risk for stroke

High blood cholesterol and lipids - Make sure that you have regular check-ups to establish your cholesterol levels

Lack of exercise - Excessive weight, a poor lifestyle, poor dietary regimes and leading a lifestyle without exercise can contribute to an increased risk of having a stroke. If you feel that your body has had little exercise, consult with your GP who will advise of the right form and quantity of exercise that your body, based on your health requires.

Obesity - While often described as being grossly overweight or fat, obesity can be measured by calculating Body mass index (BMI) which is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women. Talk to your GP to see if you are at an increased risk and if you should lose weight. Your doctor will evaluate your BMI, waist measurement, and others risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

High red blood cell count - A moderate or marked increase in the red blood cell count is a risk factor for stroke. The reason is that more red blood cells thicken the blood and make clots more likely.

Excessive alcohol intake - Excessive drinking (an average of more than one drink per day for women and more than two drinks per day for men) and binge drinking can raise blood pressure, contribute to obesity, produce high fat levels in the blood stream, cause heart failure.

Certain kinds of drug abuse - e.g.; Intravenous drug abuse carries a high risk of stroke from cerebral embolism. Cocaine use has been closely related to strokes, heart attacks and a variety of other cardiovascular complications.

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