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The effects of a stroke can be very serious, so it's better to prevent a stroke than to treat it. There are risk factors that make you more likely to have a stroke. Check if you are at risk.
After heart disease and cancer, stroke is the third most common cause of death. Every year, stroke affects as many as 80,000 Poles, of all ages. Of these, more than a third of them die within a month. Why is a stroke so dangerous?
Stroke - what is it?
We can talk about a stroke when suddenly our brainstops flowing blood . This could be caused bya blood clotor an atherosclerotic plaque obstructing the arteries that supply blood to the brain - this is an ischemic stroke.
Another type is a hemorrhagic stroke caused byrupture of a blood vesselthat supplies blood to the brain. It causes a cerebral hemorrhage. This type of stroke is much rarer but more dangerous.
Stroke progresses very quickly (as a result of ischemia, as many as1.8 million neurons ! Die every minute!), And its consequences can be very serious. A large proportion of stroke survivors remain permanently disabled, while others struggle with various types of cognitive or emotional disorders for the rest of their lives.
A stroke survivor's life really depends on how quickly specialist help is provided. So it's better not to rely on fate and prevent a stroke before it occurs.
Stroke - risk factors
In the case of a stroke, we can talk about several factors that are extremely conducive to it. Thanks to them, you can predict whether you are at risk. Here they are:
- Old age - although a stroke can occur at any age, your risk of having a stroke increases significantly after the age of 55.
- Gender - men are 19% more likely to have a stroke than women.
- Race - research shows that people with black skin are more likely (approximately 2.5%) to suffer from strokes than people who are white.
- Genetics - the presence of chronic diseases in the immediate family increases the risk of their occurrence in the next generations.
- Hypertension - this is one of the most important risk factors that we can influence. Stroke may already occur in people withsystolic hypertension of 140 mm Hg.
- Atherosclerosis - apart from high blood pressure, it plays a key role in the development of a stroke. The build-up of atherosclerotic plaque in the vessels results in their narrowing or complete blockage of blood flow. It is estimated that the narrowing of the lumen of the internal carotid artery is the cause of 20% of ischemic strokes.
- Diabetes mellitus type 2 - it has been proven that in diabetics the risk of having a stroke is three times higher in the rest of the population.
- Heart diseases - particularly dangerous are atrial fibrillation, various types of heart defects, coronary artery disease and heart attack - it has been proven that a few days or even weeks after a heart attack, the risk of a stroke is much higher.
- Increased level of bad cholesterol in the blood (LDL) - when there is too much of it, it accumulates in the walls of the arteries in the form of the so-called deposits, i.e. atherosclerotic plaque.
- Smoking - nicotine has a significant impact on stroke induction, as it aggravates atherosclerosis and irreversibly damages the endothelial vessels. Studies have shown that smokers are 1.5 times more likely to have a stroke than those who have never smoked.
- Overweight and lack of exercise - the researchers' task is that physically active people are less likely to suffer from hypertension, diabetes, atherosclerosis and have elevated cholesterol levels, and therefore also less likely to suffer a stroke.
- Alcohol abuse - as you know, small amounts of alcohol can have a beneficial effect on our he alth, but too high doses - quite the opposite. People who regularly drink alcohol have an almost 1.8-fold risk of stroke.
Stroke risk factors - what can you change?
It is worth noting that the above factors are divided into those that we have no influence (items 1-4) and factors that depend on us (5-12). The good news is that a stroke is preventable if you make some modifications to your life.
- We will change our eating habits - we will introduce more vegetables and fruits to the diet for meat, especially red, we will limit s alt and processed foods.
- We will move regularly - the recommended amount of physical activity is 30 minutes every day.
- We will quit smoking and not abuse alcohol.
- If we already have chronic diseases, such as atherosclerosis, diabetes or hypertension - we should be under constant medical supervision and take medications regularly.
If these recommendations are implemented, you can significantly reduce or reduce the risk of a stroke.