Getting to Know the Treatable Risk Factors for Stroke
Stroke is a complex medical concern with a number of possible risk factors—some of which will be out of your hands. Age, race, and family history are all examples of the uncontrollable risk factors that you may face, but there are many more possible risk factors that can be treated with the right preventive medical care. Stroke remains one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, but its impact may be reduced by taking charge of the following treatable risk factors.
Heart disease itself is a prominent health concern in America, and it has a strong association with ischemic stroke. Valve defects, heartbeat irregularities, and coronary artery disease may all result in blood clots that dislodge and make their way to the blood vessels that lead to the brain. Controlling these conditions with regular visits to the doctor and interventional care could prevent stroke and minimize the other possible risks that heart disease may present.
Individuals with diabetes are much more likely to suffer a stroke, since issues like hypertension, high cholesterol, and hardening of the blood vessels are all more common in diabetic people. Diabetes can also increase the severity of stroke, since brain damage may be much more extensive if a stroke takes place when blood glucose levels are high.
If you see the doctor regularly, you will probably have annual blood tests to measure your blood cholesterol. This screening can reveal excess LDL cholesterol that may build up in the arteries and limit blood flow. If you do have high cholesterol, there are a number of possible treatment options, including lifestyle changes and prescription medication.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the biggest concerns for stroke risk in individuals under the age of 80. High blood pressure may have no symptoms, but it is easy to diagnose with proper preventive care. A multi-faceted approach may be needed to manage hypertension, and this may include dietary changes, increased exercise, weight management, and medication.
Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center is a Certified Primary Stroke Center , which has been recognized by the American Stroke Association for our commitment to a higher standard of care in emergency stroke treatment. If you are concerned about your stroke risk, connect with us through our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (805) 497-2727 to explore the stroke prevention resources we have available to the Thousand Oaks community.