Stroke Risk Factors You Can Control And Can’t control
Peripheral Artery Disease
Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, is the narrowing of blood vessels carrying blood to leg and arm muscles. It’s caused by fatty buildup of plaque in artery walls. People with PAD have a higher risk of carotid artery disease, which raises their risk of stroke.
Atrial fibrillation, or AFib (a heart rhythm disorder), increases stroke risks fivefold. That’s because it causes the heart’s upper chambers to beat incorrectly, which can allow the blood to pool and develop a clot. The clot can travel to the brain and cause a stroke. If you have AFib, know your stroke risks and get treatment to keep your risks low. Also, sleep apnea can be linked to AFib and is associated with increased stroke risks.
Other Heart Disease
People who have coronary heart disease or heart failure are at higher risk of stroke than people who have healthy hearts. Dilated cardiomyopathy (an enlarged heart), heart valve disease and some types of congenital heart defects can also raise the risk of stroke. So work with your health care provider to manage these related conditions.
Sickle Cell Disease (Sickle Cell Anemia)
This genetic disorder mainly affects African-American and Hispanic children and causes “sickled” red blood cells which are less able to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues and organs. These cells also tend to stick to blood vessel walls, which can block arteries to the brain and cause a stroke. Work with your health care provider to prevent flare ups and manage them carefully.