Lifestyle and Medical Risk Factors of Stroke


Stroke pic

Dr. Zachary Lutsky completed his MD in emergency medicine at Rosalind Franklin University’s Chicago Medical School and residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California. Dr. Zachary Lutsky served for 12 years as an attending physician in the Emergency Department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he saw a variety of medical conditions, including stroke.

Stroke occurs when part of the brain stops getting blood. Below are some of the lifestyle and medical risk factors of stroke to which you should pay attention.

Lifestyle factors

Unhealthy diet. Eating oily foods will increase the level of fat in the blood, which can result in blockages in the arteries.

Smoking and tobacco use. Smoking increases clot formation and thickens the blood, which increases the amount of plaque formation in the arteries.

Alcohol use. Heavy consumption of alcohol increases the blood pressure and risk of stroke. Alcohol can also create problems as it interacts with other medications.

Drug use. Recreational drug use is also a risk factor for stroke. If drug use triggers a stroke, it usually happens within a few hours.

Stress. Stress exerts a high toll on the body. Individuals with high levels of stress also often have high cholesterol and blood pressure, which makes them more likely to experience narrowing of the arteries, thus increasing their chances of having a stroke.

Medical factors

Hypertension (high blood pressure). High blood pressure causes the heart to pump harder in order to circulate blood throughout the body. It ultimately weakens the blood vessels and may also damage important organs such as the brain.

High cholesterol. High cholesterol in the blood can block the normal flow of blood to the brain by creating a narrowed pathway or even a blockage in the blood vessels, thereby causing a stroke.

Irregular pulse. Atrial fibrillation, the medical term for an irregular pulse, is also among the risk factors for stroke. If the heart beats irregularly and rapidly, blood cannot be circulated quickly enough, causing slow blood flow and increased chances of a stroke.