Risk factors associated with stroke


Risk factors associated with stroke 

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Strokes can be incredibly deadly and may even ruin someones life. Here are some of the largest factors that increase the risk of a stroke.


Our brain needs constant oxygen and nutrient supply through the blood. If it is interrupted, our brain cells can die. Stroke, also known as brain attack, is a condition in which blood supply to the brain is interrupted. Hence oxygen and nutrients do not reach the brain. It is an emergency situation.

 Commonly, the sign and symptoms of stroke include face drooping, weakness or numbness of one arm, slurred speech or difficulty in speaking, a problem in vision, vomiting, dizziness, severe headache without any cause, seizures and loss of consciousness. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure to contact a professional such as the best neurosurgeon in Karachi.

A stroke can affect the activities your body do on the commands of your brain like movement, speaking, controlling your bowel and bladder, remembering things, controlling emotions and many more. It can happen to anyone at any stage of their life. But there are some risk factors that one can avoid to prevent it. In this article, we are going to talk about risk factors associated with stroke. 

High blood pressure 

High blood pressure or hypertension predisposes the person towards stroke. If you are a hypertensive person, it is necessary to take medicine on time to keep it under control. Also, monitor your blood pressure often.

Smoking and contraceptives

The smoke of cigarettes contains carbon monoxide and nicotine that increases the risk of stroke up to two to four times by damaging the cardiovascular system. Moreover, women who take birth controlling pills or hormone replacement therapies for a long time are more prone to a stroke. When contraceptives are combined with smoking cigarettes, the risk is even more increased. 


Type 1 and type 2, both kinds of diabetes increase the risk of stroke. Patients with diabetes often have high blood pressure or are overweight, or have high blood cholesterol-increasing the risk even more. You must monitor your blood sugar regularly and, keep it under control. 

Improper diet 

The diet that contains a high portion of fats makes a person gain weight and, increases blood cholesterol levels. Diet rich in sodium content can cause high blood pressure. The diet that contains high sugar intake makes you prone to diabetes. Eventually, all these conditions increase the risk of stroke. According to research, having five portions of fruits or vegetables in a day reduces the risk of stroke. Try eating a well balanced, low fat, low carbohydrate diet to prevent stroke. 

High blood cholesterol and carotid artery stenosis 

When you eat a diet that contains a high amount of fats, like butter, cream, ice creams and pizzas, it increases the level of bad cholesterol in your blood. That cholesterol eventually deposits in your arteries in the form of plaques, making them narrower and making it harder for the blood to circulate well in the body. This condition is called atherosclerosis. In this condition, your arteries get harden due to excessive accumulation of fats. The plaque can affect the lining of your arteries and can cause blood clots, that affects the blood supply to the organ. 

Carotid artery stenosis refers to the hardening of carotid arteries- that supply blood to your brain. If these arteries become blocked, the blood supply to your brain is affected, leading to stroke eventually. Many people do not know about building up of plaque in their carotid arteries until the first attack occurs. 

Physical inactivity 

Physical inactivity leads to hypertension, obesity and diabetes. All these factors are a risk factor of stroke. Try to incorporate exercise in your daily life routine. Try doing at least 150 minutes of physical activity in a week,

Atrial fibrillation 

Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of stroke up to five times. It is a condition in which the upper chamber of the heart beats incorrectly and allows the blood to pool, increasing the chances of forming a blood clot. That clot can travel in your body and, when it reaches your brain, it can cause a stroke. If you are suffering from atrial fibrillation, take all the medications on time and, do not miss the dose. 

Sickle cell disease

Normally, our red blood cells resemble the shape of a disc. In sickle cell anaemia, the red blood cells of the patient are like that of a moon or a crescent. These cells become sticky and rigid. Therefore they can stick to the blood vessel and interrupt the blood flow. When these cells are accumulated in the brain, they can cause a stroke. If you are a patient of sickle cell anaemia, you must consult with your healthcare provider to avoid flare-ups. 


Stroke is an emergency situation that needs urgent attention. If you suffer from any of the symptoms of stroke, do not delay and, consult with your health care provider. Also, do not drive to the hospital by yourself, ask someone’s help to take you to the hospital. 

To prevent a stroke, it is essential that you stop smoking cigarette, eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, maintain a routine of physical activity daily, sleep well and eat clean. Avoid eating foods rich in fats and sugar. However, have nuts and, foods that contain healthy fats. If you diabetic or hypertensive, do not miss your medicines, take them on time. To make sure you are properly dealing with this condition consult a doctor such as a top neurologist in Islamabad


Author Since: July 16, 2020

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