Could You be at Risk of a Stroke? – Now is the Time to Find Out
Posted by: Tampa Cardio
On: June 15, 2023
Strokes can range from mild to physically debilitating and life altering. If you are at risk for stroke, it can help you to know so that you can take proper precautions and know the signs so that if the unthinkable should happen you can react as fast as possible.
Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States, as well as the leading cause of serious and long-term disability.
You likely know or have encountered someone in your life who has experienced a stroke and may have witnessed firsthand how detrimental the effects of one can be. What you might not be aware of is your own personal risk for stroke. Many people mistakenly believe that they are too young or too in shape for a stroke to happen. The truth is that there are other factors at play outside of the visible.
The fact is that a stroke can strike at any age, gender or race, though certain factors will certainly put you at greater risk than others. Understanding these factors will help you to understand your risk, and you can start to address any issues that are present in your life.
- The Age Factor – While a stroke can happen at any age, the majority of them occur in those over 65. After the age of 55, your risk of stroke doubles.
- Sex – Men are more likely than women to have strokes, especially at younger ages. However, women are more likely to die should a stroke occur.
- Family history – A family history of stroke greatly increases your chances of having one yourself. Furthermore, if you have a personal history of stroke, you are more likely to have a recurrence.
- Race – Strokes most commonly occur in African Americans, American Indians, and Alaskan Natives. On the other hand, they are less common in Caucasians, Asians, and Hispanics.
- Obesity – Obesity can lead to a build-up of plaque in the arteries, which becomes very dangerous if this plaque ruptures and forms a blood clot. As your BMI rises, so does your risk for stroke.
- Sedentary Lifestyle – Recent studies have indicated that a lack of exercise can be just as likely to increase your likelihood of a stroke as smoking cigarettes. The more active you are, the more benefits you will see.
- Diet – An unhealthy diet can lead to stroke, especially if hypertension or abnormal cholesterol levels are involved. Furthermore, a poor diet can lead to obesity, which is another important risk factor for stroke.
- Hypertension – those with hypertension, especially uncontrolled are at a very elevated risk for a stroke as well as heart attack.
- Smoking – Among other complications, smoking cigarettes can cause severe damage to veins and vessel walls. This is because cigarettes narrow vessels while simultaneously increasing the volume of blood that must flow through them, greatly weakening veins over time.
- Birth control – Although strokes are more common in men, taking birth control can increase a woman’s risk, even at young ages. This is because the hormones in birth control can result in blood clot formation, which results in a stroke when clots break off and travel to the brain.
- Related conditions – Some conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, can be related to the occurrence of stroke. High blood pressure, in fact, is considered one of the biggest risk factors for stroke and can increase a person’s likelihood of stroke by up to 4-6 times.
While some factors will always be out of your control, it’s important to address the lifestyle choices that you can control – such as choosing not to smoke and selecting a healthy diet – to reduce your chances now of a stroke occurring later in life.
If you are in the Tampa area and would like to speak with a doctor about your potential risk for stroke and ways to reduce it, contact the physicians at Tampa Cardiovascular Associates by calling (813) 975-2800 today. www.Tampacardio.com.
Posted by: Tampa Cardio