• How do risk factors differ for hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke?

    It’s frightening to experience the sudden weakness, confusion and slurred speech that can occur with stroke. When every second counts, Las Vegas residents can count on the specialized, life-saving stroke care at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. Our stroke care specialists provide a continuum of superior care, including patient-focused medical guidance on risk management to prevent recurrent stroke.

    Understanding hemorrhagic stroke

    Hemorrhagic stroke is less common than ischemic stroke. Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel ruptures and causes bleeding on the brain, resulting in the death of affected brain cells. There are two types of hemorrhagic stroke: Intracerebral and subarachnoid hemorrhages.

    Identifying risk factors of hemorrhagic stroke

    High blood pressure is a major risk factor of hemorrhagic strokes that are caused by ruptured aneurysms. Other risk factors include:

    • Smoking
    • Alcohol consumption
    • Substance abuse
    • Hormonal birth control pills

    Intracerebral hemorrhagic strokes that are caused by abnormally formed blood vessels in the brain tend to be more common in men. It’s possible, though not conclusively proven, that these abnormal blood vessels may run in families.

    Understanding ischemic stroke

    Ischemic stroke, which is the most common type, occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Ischemic stroke can occur when plaque accumulates within the arteries and blood clots develop.

    Embolic stroke, a subtype of ischemic stroke, occurs when a blood clot forms somewhere else in the body and travels to the brain. Thrombotic stroke occurs when a blood clot develops in an artery that leads to the brain.

    Identifying risk factors of ischemic stroke

    Like hemorrhagic stroke, high blood pressure is a major risk factor for ischemic stroke.

    Atrial fibrillation is a common risk factor among patients who suffer embolic stroke. Atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm problem that increases the risk of blood clots. These blood clots can form from the pooled blood in the heart, enter the bloodstream and travel to the brain.

    Patients who suffer thrombotic stroke often have abnormal cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis, which is damage to the arteries.

    Other risk factors of ischemic stroke include:

    • Diabetes
    • Circulation disorders
    • Carotid artery disease
    • Obesity
    • Smoking
    • Alcohol abuse
    • Physical inactivity

    Many risk factors of stroke are modifiable by making smart lifestyle decisions and working with your doctor to manage health conditions.

    The stroke care specialists at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center are committed to giving our patients the best possible care to save lives and improve long-term outcomes. If you require emergency care in the Las Vegas area, please call 911 without delay. Otherwise, contact a registered nurse at (702) 233-5300 for a physician referral.