Stroke Risk Factors

In life, there are many things that are beyond our control, but at the same time there are things within our control. This brings us to the issue of Risk Factors in relation to Stroke. At least we are forewarned about such things and we owe it to ourselves to know and decide what we ought to do to reduce the risk of having a stroke.

Factors you cannot control:

  1. Age — The older you are the higher your risk.
  2. Gender — Males are at higher risk than females.
  3. Race — Blacks, Hispanics/Latinos and Asians have higher risks than Caucasians.
  4. Family history of stroke and heart disease.
  5. A prior stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack) or heart attack.

Factors you can control:

  1. High Blood Pressure — Should be controlled and maintained at less than 140/90 mm Hg.
  2. Heart Disease — Atrial fibrillation (a rapid, irregular heartbeat) should be treated.
  3. Carotid Artery Disease — Can be treated by surgery, stenting, or medical therapy
  4. Smoking — Should be avoided.
  5. High Cholesterol — Should be lowered. Eat a diet low in saturated fat, cholesterol and salt.
  6. Diabetes — Increases the risk for stroke and should be controlled through diet, oral hypoglycemics (drugs taken by mouth that lower blood sugar) or insulin.
  7. Obesity — The more overweight, the higher the risk.
  8. Excess Alcohol Intake — Should be avoided.
  9. Physical Inactivity – Being inactive increases your risk.

For many people, Heart Attack and Stroke appears to share the same symptoms. Actually a Heart Attack is very different from a Stroke, and people with heart diseases tend to be at higher risk for a Stroke. It is good to know the differences, especially the Warning Signs, between the two.

For the Warning Signs of a Stroke please refer to my earlier post on Warning Signs.

Warning Signs of Heart Attack.

  1. Chest Discomfort.
    Most people having a heart attacks feels a discomfort around the central part of the chest, something like a pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  2. Discomfort in other areas of the upper body.
    The discomfort can be in the form of a pain in the neck, jaw, arms, back or even in the stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath.
    There may or may not be any feeling of pain or discomfort.

Other signs include breaking out in a cold sweat, light-headedness or nausea.

Read related posts on Stroke:
What is a Stroke?

Facts of Stroke & The Warning Signs

Eating & The Stroke Survivor

Understanding Spasticity

[tags]strokes, risk factors of strokes, stroke risk[/tags]

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About bokjae

A retiree and full-time home care-giver to my wife a stroke survivor. A graduate in Electrical & Electronics Engineering, working as Project Manager; and was in Senior Management (Executive Director) with a local Telecommunications Company for 22 years till retirement. Upon retirement I was attached to a Church serving as full-time lay leader, lay counsellor as well as in social or community work such as old folks home, drug rehab, orphanage.

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