Causes of Stroke

Causes of Stroke

Causes of Stroke

May 1, 2023

A clot or a leakage preventing blood flow to the brain or a portion of the brain, or an artery in the brain bursting or rupturing; it is medically termed a stroke. Strokes are often also referred to as brain attacks. The brain either partially dies or suffers damage in either scenario. A stroke may cause a patient to suffer permanent brain damage, functional disability, or even death.

The brain is the organ that manages our bodily activities, retains our memories, and generates our ideas, feelings, and verbal expression. In addition, the brain is actively responsible for a variety of bodily functions, right from breathing to the entire digestive process.

You need oxygen for your brain to function correctly. Every part of the brain receives oxygen-rich blood through the arteries. Brain cells begin to deteriorate within mere minutes of an obstruction in blood flow because of the deprivation of such oxygen. The result is a stroke. A stroke can render a person unable to function, including impaired movement and speech, and it can also cause memory loss.

One of the foremost causes of death in the US is stroke. A stroke can be traumatic for people and their families and take away their freedom. Additionally, it is the most typical reason for adult disabilities. A stroke affects roughly 795,000 Americans annually, and about 160,000 pass away. [1]

5 Leading Causes of Stroke

The following are the 5 leading causes of stroke:

  1. High blood pressure (Hypertension)

  2. Smoking

  3. Excessive alcohol indulgence

  4. Physical trauma – vehicular accident, fall trauma, etc.

  5. Obesity

Types of Stroke and Their Causes

Stroke is defined as the fast emergence of clinical indicators of a focused or entire impairment of brain function, with symptoms lasting more than 24 hours for an indefinite period or resulting in death, and with no other obvious origin than vascular.

The causes of a stroke determine its classification. Strokes are classified into two categories or types.

Ischemic Stroke

Ischemic strokes are strokes caused by the interruption of blood and oxygen flow to a certain part of the brain, which results in unexpected loss of function in the human body. An ischemic stroke happens when a patient’s blood artery, which provides the brain with blood, nutrients, and essential oxygen, becomes “clogged,” preventing blood flow to a brain region. The brain’s cells and tissues begin to degrade and perish within minutes of oxygen and food deprivation.

Ischemic strokes constitute the majority of all recorded cases of stroke.

Causes of Ischemic Stroke:

  1. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension

  2. Diabetes

  3. Excessive consumption of alcohol

  4. Smoking

  5. High levels of cholesterol in the body

  6. Obesity

  7. Atrial fibrillation, a type of irregularity in a person’s heartbeat, causes clots that end up in the bloodstream, which provides the brain with vital oxygen and nutrition content.

Hemorrhagic Stroke

Hemorrhagic strokes also referred to as cerebral hemorrhages, are strokes caused by the rupture, burst, or leakage of arteries in a person’s brain, which causes bleeding to build pressure on the brain cells continually. Such pressure eventually damages the brain tissues and cells. Hemorrhagic strokes are also referred to as intracranial strokes.

Hemorrhagic strokes are classified into two categories based on the locality of the bleeding. If a blood vessel breaks out and bleeds in the region or space between the brain and the person’s skull, the stroke is termed a subarachnoid hemorrhage. In contrast, if the burst or bleeding is located in a person’s brain, the stroke that is caused is called an Intracerebral hemorrhage.

Causes of hemorrhagic stroke

  1. Continuous uncontrolled high levels of blood pressure

  2. Lack of exercise

  3. Stress

  4. Overuse of anticoagulants, or blood thinners, as treatment

  5. Physical trauma

  6. Ischemic stroke and its consequences

  7. Cerebral amyloid angiopathy, or the buildup of protein deposits along the blood vessel walls that result in the weakening of the walls

Causes of Stroke in Women

For women, stroke is the seventh most common cause of death. In the United States, one woman out of every five between the age category of 55-75 experiences a stroke of either type mentioned above. Hypertension is a significant cause of stroke. This condition is vernacularly referred to as high BP.

Out of every five women, more than two can be observed to possess a blood pressure of 130/180 mm Hg or above and are actively on medication for the same. There are only around 1 in 4 of those women whose blood pressure is kept under 130/80 mm Hg. [2]

The risk of stroke increases as age progresses. The number of women suffering strokes throughout their lives is higher than men because women typically live longer.

Additionally, women have particular risk factors for stroke, such as:

  1. A pregnancy with high blood pressure.

  2. Age. Women typically live longer lifetimes compared to men.

  3. Using particular birth control methods.

  4. Having greater depression rates.

  5. Hormonal drugs – Taking birth control pills can elevate the risk of stroke in women who are already at high risk for the disease, especially if they smoke. Because hormone replacement therapy can result in blood clots and raise blood pressure, it marginally increases the risk of stroke in menopausal women.

Causes of Stroke in Men

The most significant cause of mortality for males is stroke. One of the major causes of long-term disability is stroke, and males under 44 are more likely than women in the same age range to be hospitalized for specific forms of stroke.

Blood pressure medication is used by 50.4% of males with high blood pressure. The blood pressure in this portion of men is 130/80 mm Hg or above. In four out of five cases of high blood pressure in men, there is no control over the condition. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a general cause of strokes. [3]

The following are key stroke risk factors or causes of a stroke in a man:

  1. Smoking’s effect on blood vessels can bring on a stroke. One out of every seven men is known to smoke. Men are also typically more prone to be active smokers than women.

  2. Obesity and overeating. Obesity and being overweight raise stroke risk. In the United States, the average statistical data states that approximately 3 out of every four males are overweight or obese.

  3. Due to its potential to damage brain blood arteries, diabetes raises the risk of stroke. Males with diabetes are one in seven.

  4. Excessive alcohol use can elevate a person’s BP and increase the stroke possibility. Alcohol usage is generally more commonly observed in men.

  5. Lack of sufficient physical activity. Lack of exercise can cause numerous medical complications, resulting in a higher possibility of stroke. In 2017, roughly 50% of males complied with aerobic exercise and muscle building recommendations.

Awareness Is The Key To Good Health

Strokes are challenging disorders to recover from. They render you unable to function and often prove fatal. Stroke-affected patients require highly exhausting and time-consuming physiotherapy and rehabilitation to recover and overcome their disabilities. Know all about the causes of a stroke and consult with your doctor regularly to stay in good health.

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