Here Are Key Risk Factors
Stroke and heart disease are the greatest killers in America. Imagine that. The greatest causes of death in the United States stem largely from preventable conditions. Over the last 30 years diagnosis of heart disease and associated risks has exploded. Americans are more unhealthy than ever, and many lifestyle choices are posing distinct threats to people without their knowledge. Understanding key risk factors in addition to a safer left atrial appendage occlusion will keep you healthy and safe.
So, what exactly are risk factors for a stroke? There are two categories: risk factors you can control, and factors you cannot. Uncontrollable factors include the following:
You can’t control how old you are. Stroke is far more common among the elderly. According to the American Heart Association, each decade you live after 55 your chances for stroke double.
Your family may have a history of stroke. This may be because of gene mutations or just a genetic predisposition to blocked blood cells in the brain.
African American populations have a much higher risk than caucasians, but is a result of higher numbers of high-risk variables. This effect is correlative, not causative.
Surprisingly, more women suffer strokes than men and more women die from stroke. So, if you’re a woman, take into account additional risk factors that are inherent with your gender.
Realistically, we are more concerned about the risk factors you DO have control over. Research suggests that behavioral risk factors, or controllable factors, cause more strokes than uncontrollable factors. Here are controllable factors:
Yeah, smoking kills. But it doesn’t just cause lung disease. Smoking is now dubbed as a significant risk factor to stroke. Just another reason to quit, eh?
High blood pressure is a key risk indicator of stroke. High blood pressure indicates undue strain on the cardiovascular system that comes from clogged arteries and poor physical health.
Sodium, fats, sugars and of course, cholesterol: all your favorite things wrapped up into one major cause of stroke, and by extension, death.
Being overweight and physically inactive increases the likelihood of risks across the board. Obesity increases risk of both diabetes and high blood pressure among a litany of other conditions.
These factors contribute directly to stroke risk. Moral of the story: be healthy, and the risks of stroke will decrease. Being healthier seems daunting at first, but take it one day at a time. That means starting with doable goals. You won’t make major lifestyle changes overnight without making small marginal steps towards being healthier. Consult experts who can help you on your journey to being healthier. Consult your physician, a licensed dietitian, a personal trainer, a health coach and whoever else that will get you to your goals. Work with experts so the experience is a positive and a safe one.
Patients who suffer from atrial fibrillation are at a much greater risk of stroke. Currently Coherex is developing a safer left atrial appendage occlusion that will minimize this risk and will allow thousands to enjoy healthier, happier lives.