Having a stroke can be fatal or cause serious permanent damage. So what are the risk factors for having a stroke? There are three groups of stroke risk factors as described by the Stroke Foundation and the more risk factors you have, the higher your chances of having a stroke.
Risk factors you CANNOT control:
- Age – your risk increases as you get older
- Gender – stroke is more common in men
- Family history of stroke
Medical risk factors:
- Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA)
- Irregular pulse (Atrial Fibrillation)
- Fibromuscular Dsyplasia (FMD)
Lifestyle risk factors that you CAN control:
- High blood pressure – the most important risk factor known for stroke
- High cholesterol – recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has shown that one in three Australian adults have high total cholesterol. Read more here.
- Cigarette smoking
- Obesity or being overweight
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
- High alcohol consumption
It is important to manage any of the medical conditions that increase your chance of having a stroke. Making good lifestyle and health choices are where you can reduce your likelihood of having a stroke.
Here’s 7 ways to reduce your chance of having a stroke:
- Have your blood pressure checked
- See a dietitian to reduce your cholesterol levels
- QUIT smoking
- Lose some weight
- Improve your diet
- Exercise 30 minutes a day most days of the week
- Limit your alcohol consumption
Speak to your doctor or health professional now and start making the changes you need to live a long and healthy life!
Article written by Dr Melanie Woollam (Osteopath)
National Stroke Foundation: www.strokefoundation.com.au
Australian Bureau of Statistics