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What are the Risk Factors for a Stroke?

Did you know that every year, more than 795,000 people suffer from a stroke? Although the risk of stroke increases with age, the prevalence of a number of risk factors can make some individuals more likely to suffer from a stroke. Additionally, the conditions that make a person more susceptible to having one are the same ones that often cause heart attacks. Today, the Annapolis stroke care experts are going to share some information about stroke risk factors so that seniors can make modifications to their lifestyles and continue to live healthy, happy lives, well into their golden years.

Tobacco Use

Smoking can cause major damage to the body’s blood vessels and set the stage for a stroke. The ingredients in smoke also block the blood’s oxygen carrying capability which causes extra work for the heart.

High Blood Pressure

Maintaining a consistent blood pressure of 140/90 or higher is a major risk factor for stroke. Patients who have hypertension should take vigilant care of their condition by following a few guidelines that include:

  • Monitoring blood pressure at home
  • Consistently taking prescribed medication
  • Keeping scheduled physician appointments
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Engaging in doctor approved exercise

High Cholesterol

High cholesterol is a major contributing factor to the incidence of stroke. Individuals of all weights and sizes have hyperlipidemia, so it is important to keep blood levels under control whether a person is large or small. Cholesterol can be further controlled with medications and by making dietary changes. If your aging parent or loved one struggles with high cholesterol, make sure you’ve identified any barriers to a healthy diet. For instance, some seniors may lack transportation to the grocery store while others can no longer perform certain meal preparation activities. You can then provide them with the proper transportation or hourly help at home so they can enjoy nutritious and well balanced meals.

Diabetes

Individuals with diabetes, who experience frequent elevated levels of blood sugar or glucose, are at a higher risk for stroke. Excessive amounts of glucose in the blood cause damage to the body’s tissues and organs and make patients more prone to risk factors such as hypertension and heart disease.

Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation is a condition that causes the heart to beat irregularly and at a faster than normal pace. It can cause clots to form within the blood vessels which can block blood flow and cause a stroke.

Interested in learning more about senior health? Reach out to the Annapolis senior home care experts at Home Care Assistance today. Our phone lines are open 24/7 and we offer complimentary in-home consultations where you can learn more about in-home care services and how to care for senior loved ones. Call 443-302-2771 to speak with a friendly and knowledgeable Care Manager.