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13 real stroke risk factors: What you need to stop doing immediately

13 real stroke risk factors: What you need to stop doing immediately Illustrative photo (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

The risk of a stroke increases significantly if a person leads an unhealthy lifestyle. There are also factors that contribute to the development of this condition, and they are related to age, other diseases, and genetics.

What specific factors increase the risk of a stroke and what one needs to stop doing immediately is explained by RBC-Ukraine with reference to the post by neurologist and psychotherapist Anna Cherednichenko on Instagram.

Real stroke risk factors

The doctor listed 13 factors that can significantly increase the risk of this condition. Some of them can and should be eliminated, while others require attention and keeping one's blood pressure under control.

  • Age: Every 10 years after the age of 45 doubles the risk.

  • Low birth weight.

  • Family history: A history of stroke/heart attack in a parent under the age of 50.

  • Lack of physical activity: Increases the risk by 25-30%.

  • High cholesterol: Total cholesterol levels above 7 mmol/L.

  • High blood pressure: Above 140/90 mm Hg.

  • Obesity and fat distribution: A body mass index (BMI) over 25 or a waist circumference over 102 cm in men and over 88 cm in women.

  • Diabetes increases the risk 4 times.

  • Smoking, regardless of the amount.

  • Heart rhythm disorders: Atrial fibrillation increases the risk 5 times.

  • Migraine with aura.

  • Alcohol or drug use.

  • Sleep apnea.

What to do immediately

The doctor also mentions what one should give up immediately to reduce the risk of stroke.

  • Quit smoking.
  • Increase physical activity.
  • Stop eating excessive fried and fatty foods.
  • Control high blood pressure.
  • Address high cholesterol.