Stroke is high on the list of medical conditions that can lead to disability or death. However, you don’t have to sit around waiting for a stroke to happen. Below is a list of eight risk factors for stroke and links providing information on what you can do to stay healthy.
- High Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure (HBP) is a leading cause of stroke. If you have HBP, commit to a plan to get it under control.
Smoking (and inhaling nicotine-containing vaping products) is a big no-no. Carbon monoxide and nicotine generated by smoking damages the cardiovascular system, paving the way for a stroke. For women, smoking combined with using birth control pills increases stroke risk.
Diabetics need to control their blood sugar. Many such individuals also have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and are overweight – all stroke risk factors.
- Bad Diet/Obesity
A high intake of saturated fats, trans fats, or cholesterol can raise blood cholesterol levels. A diet high in salt may increase blood pressure. Too many calories can lead to obesity.
- High Blood Cholesterol
Large amounts of cholesterol may lead to blood clots that can cause a stroke. Low HDL (the “good” cholesterol) may be a stroke risk factor for men.
- Physical Inactivity
A physically inactive lifestyle increases the risk of several health issues – stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity.
- Heart-Related Problems
Many heart-related issues are stroke risk factors. They include:
- Atrial Fibrillation (Afib).
- Carotid Artery Disease.
- Coronary Heart Disease.
- Heart Valve Disease.
- Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD).
Note that sleep apnea is associated with heart problems.
- Sickle Cell Anemia
African-American and Hispanic children are the leading group affected by this genetic disorder. “Sickled” red blood cells can’t carry sufficient oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues. Sickle cells can also stick to blood vessel walls with the potential to cause blockage and stroke.
Stroke Risk Quiz
Take this handy stroke risk quiz to evaluate your stroke risk. If you score high or are unsure what your score means, book a consultation with your health care provider for some expert advice.
Should I Call MedTrust for a Stroke Emergency?
No. Call 911 immediately. MedTrust cannot guarantee to have an emergency vehicle in your area. All emergency calls will be handled by your local emergency system and forwarded to the appropriate emergency vehicle service.