Lifestyle Related Factors that Increase Your Risk of Stroke

Did you know the death rate for stroke in New York stands at 24.6%? The statistics are shocking but more debilitating because most stroke cases stem from a combination of lifestyle choices and medical conditions. The notion that stroke is a reserve for old individuals is false. The heterogeneity of stroke morbidity traces to hypertension, smoking, cardiovascular complications, and other complications. We delve into the top five risk factors and how you can manage them.

1. Hypertension

Borderline hypertension is the number one risk factor that makes you prone to advanced stroke. What makes hypertension such a potent risk factor is the nature of it affecting your blood vessels. High blood pressure can cause calcification of blood vessels, constricting blood flow to the brain, and weakening the vessels. Stroke results from borderline hypertension when blood supply to your brain suddenly ceases. Hypertension masquerades as a headache that throbs on the temples. However, early hypertension diagnosis is pivotal to preventing stroke. Ensure you regularly visit the clinic to check your vitals.

2. Obesity

Obesity is a subset of the BMI’s influence on your health. A BMI index of greater than 40 means you have to watch your weight and if it is over 60, you seriously need to shed some fat. Doctors advise keeping your weight in check to avoid complications such as stroke. Being obese means fat deposits build around and in the blood vessels hence cutting off supply to vital organs like the brain, causing a stroke. Regularly exercise and watch what you eat, and you will curb obesity.

3. Smoking

Smoking seems to be the risk factor for every malady. Rightly so, cigarettes contain tar which directly affects your blood. Research shows people who smoke have stickier blood. Viscous blood sticks to the walls of blood vessels delivering blood to your brain, and over time they clog. Stopping smoking is one of the noblest things to do in life. Avoiding smoking saves you from a lot of grievous diseases.

4. Diabetes

Research shows individuals with diabetes are 1.5 times more likely to develop a stroke than individuals with normal blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels cause fatty deposits that block and damage major blood vessels causing cardiovascular complications. It is imperative to note that incremental lack of management propagates diabetes to a fully-fledged risk factor for stroke. Managing diabetes is a chief step to preventing the occurrence of stroke.

5. Unhealthy diet

A diet high in saturated fats blocks your blood vessels. Cholesterol buildup in the veins and arteries impedes normal blood flow, which is a bedrock for many cardiovascular diseases. However, not all cholesterol is bad. Talk to Artem Kaplan, M.D., Ph.D. at N.Y. Neurology Associates about the two types of cholesterol and finds out which is vital to your body. Incorporate in your diet antioxidants, fruits and vegetables, and fiber-rich foods. Reduce sodium intake in your diet and constantly hydrate.


While some risk factors may be more severe than others, they are manageable. Neurology Associates offer the best patient-centered service for all your general neurology concerns. Schedule an appointment to establish your risk factors and effectively manage them.