Stroke Risk Factors

Hypertension

A stroke is a dangerous medical event that can result in long-term disability and even death. According to the National Stroke Association, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and the number one cause of adult disability in the United States. Fortunately, there are steps that every person can take to reduce their risk of suffering from the complications of these “brain attacks.” Knowing your risk factors and discussing preventive treatments with your doctor is often the best way to avoid a stroke —read on to learn more about the most important factors that affect the development of cerebrovascular events.

The factors that are known to increase a person’s risk for a stroke are divided into two main categories: controllable and uncontrollable risk factors. Controllable risk factors are those that can be changed with alterations in lifestyle. Uncontrollable risk factors are factors you can’t change, and include sex, family history, and age. Below are listed some of the most important modifiable, controllable risk factors for stroke.

  • High levels of cholesterol
    High levels of LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol can promote the development of fatty plaques in the arteries of the brain. These plaques can eventually inhibit healthy circulation and lead to an ischemic stroke.
     
  • High blood pressure
    Suffering from chronic high blood pressure (hypertension) can damage the walls of the arteries and make them more likely to rupture or tear. Eating a healthy diet can help you to control high blood pressure and decrease your risk of a hemorrhagic stroke.
     
  • Tobacco use
    Smoking cigarettes or using chewing tobacco affects almost every part of your body. Quitting smoking as soon as possible will dramatically improve your overall health and decrease your risk of stroke, cancer, and heart disease.
     
  • Diabetes
    Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a variety of health complications that increase your risk for a stroke. Work closely with your physician to restore normal blood sugar levels and manage your condition.

You can also learn more about your possible risk for a stroke by consulting with your primary care physician or cardiology specialist. To find an experienced physician in the Las Vegas area, contact the Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 233-5300. Our nurses will help you to find the right physician to suit your needs.

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