Statins: How the drug prevents heart attacks and strokes
There are two types of haemorrhagic stroke, one when a blood vessel bursts causing bleeding on the brain, or another when a brain aneurysm occurs. What can you do to minimise your risk of the condition? The NHS explained the main cause of a haemorrhagic stroke is high blood pressure. Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure weakens the arteries in the brain and make them more likely to rupture.
There are five key factors that contribute to high blood pressure. These are:
- Being overweight
- Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
- A lack of exercise
While it’d make sense to exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight (or lose weight if needs be), not smoking and reducing stress levels, some factors can’t be changed.
For example, being aged 55 or over puts you more at risk of a stroke than a younger person.
If a close relative, such as a parent, grandparent, or sibling has had a stroke, your risk is likely to be higher.
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The risk of stroke also increases if you’re of south Asian, African or Caribbean descent.
The reason for this is that these groups of people have a higher risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.
People who have already had a stroke, mini stroke or heart attack are also at higher risk of the condition.
“It’s possible to significantly reduce your risk of having a stroke by making lifestyle changes,” said the NHS.
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The best way to avoid a stroke is to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking and drinking too much alcohol.
These lifestyle adjustments can reduce the likelihood of developing atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is when the arteries become clogged with excess “bad” cholesterol.
Living a healthy lifestyle can also reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
The best die to avoid a stroke, recommended by the NHS, is a “low-fat, high-fibre diet”.
One must eat “plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and wholegrain” – try to aim for at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
The national health body urges people to exercise for at least 150 minutes every week.
This must involve “moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as cycling or fast walking”.
Ditch bad habits
“Smoking significantly increases your risk of having a stroke,” warned the NHS.
“This is because it narrows your arteries and makes your blood more likely to clot.”
The NHS Smoking Helpline is available on 0300 123 1044 to offer advice and encouragement.
“Heavy drinking multiplies the risk of stroke by more than three times,” said the national health body.
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