Factors that May Put You at Risk for Stroke
Stroke is a serious cardiovascular condition that occurs when the brain’s blood supply is interrupted by a blood clot (ischemic) or ruptured vessel (hemorrhagic). Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the U.S., and permanent brain damage can occur in a matter of minutes. Lower your risk for stroke with help from this brief overview of preventable risk factors from Riverside Community Hospital :
Alcohol and Tobacco Use
It is common knowledge that alcohol can affect the liver and that smoking affects the lungs, but fewer people know that both habits also affect cardiovascular health. The effects of alcohol on stroke risk are still being studied, but anything more than moderate alcohol consumption—one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men—can lead to heart and liver disease. Smokers have double the risk for stroke compared to nonsmokers, as tobacco smoke reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood and increases the amount of buildup in the arteries.
People with diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke, and two-thirds die from some form of these conditions. Most people with diabetes also have other controllable stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a history of obesity. Brain damage may be more severe if a stroke happens when blood sugar is high.
High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and atherosclerosis are some of the most common heart conditions that directly contribute to an increased risk for stroke. Most of these can be managed through lifestyle changes and medication. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine are the most effective methods of controlling stroke and heart disease risk.
Riverside Community Hospital has been committed to providing a superior level of healthcare and compassionate treatment since 1901, and we continue to put patient safety and satisfaction first. Stay connected with us on Facebook and Twitter for more health and wellness advice, or contact our 24-Hour Consult-a-Nurse Healthcare Referral line at (951) 788-3000 with any questions or comments.