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Anyone can have a stroke - young or old. Because a stroke is not - as is often assumed - a symptom of old age. Although the risk increases with age, it can affect younger people as well. Hereditary factors also play a role. People who have had a stroke in the family are at increased risk…
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Age and genetic influences are risk factors that we cannot influence. However, other risk factors that can make a stroke more likely can be avoided, such as:
- High blood pressure: the higher the blood pressure, the higher the risk of having a stroke. High blood pressure damages blood vessels over a long period of time.
- Atrial fibrillation: People with atrial fibrillation have, on average, a 5-fold higher risk of stroke compared to people without atrial fibrillation.
- Carotid stenosis: Every year in Austria around 2,000 strokes are caused by arteriosclerosis-related narrowing of the carotid artery (carotid stenosis) - it is one of the main causes of a stroke.
- High cholesterol: Excessive cholesterol levels in the blood promote the development of vascular calcification (arteriosclerosis) and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Diabetes mellitus: In the metabolic disease diabetes mellitus, the sugar levels in the blood are increased. Diabetics are about two to three times more likely to suffer a stroke than people who do not have this condition.
- Smoking: Those who regularly take up a cigarette increase their stroke risk by two to three times compared to people who do not smoke.
- Alcohol: Long-term alcohol consumption leads to dependency and health problems (including high blood pressure, damage to organs such as the liver).
- Overweight: Moderately overweight alone is probably not a pronounced risk factor for a stroke. However, being overweight leads to secondary diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes. This then increases the risk of stroke.
- Lack of exercise: A lack of physical activity favors the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases and thus the development of arteriosclerosis.
- Pill: According to experts, there is a connection between smoking and stroke in young women who are also taking the pill. Both smoking and the pill increase the likelihood of thrombosis. In combination, this also increases the risk of a stroke.