Strokes are a major health problem all around the world with about 15 million people suffering from the disease worldwide every year. It is the third leading cause of death and is the leading cause of disability in the US. While most people who have a stroke are over 65, about ¼ of the sufferers are under that age.

It’s not every day that you would see stroke and good news in the same sentence, but new research shows that nine out of 10 strokes can easily be preventable. This comes from the fact that the top 10 risk factors of the deadly disease can be stopped, which are:

  1. High blood pressure
  2. Diabetes
  3. Too much alcohol consumption
  4. Smoking
  5. Poor diet
  6. High cholesterol
  7. Obesity
  8. Stress
  9. Heart problems
  10. Lack of physical activity
Nine out of 10 strokes can easily be preventable / PicHelp

Note though that the “nine out of 10” number is just an estimate since it is not definite that the risk factors mentioned above are the cause of stroke for those involved in the study.

The study evaluated the lifestyles of almost 27,000 people from 32 different countries. The participants suffered from a stroke and they were compared with those who did not have a stroke. The data used by the researchers were based on the answers provided by the participants. Although there are some who say the data may be biased and inaccurate, the study did show that the well-established concept regarding how lifestyle affects our cardiovascular health is indeed true.

Symptoms of Stroke

Most of the time, there are no symptoms of the disease as it can suddenly attack anyone. While it is true that most people who are at least 55 years old have a huge risk with the risk doubling after every 10 years, stroke can affect anyone – even younger people. To detect stroke, you can use the FAST test:

  • Facial weakness – Face has fallen on one side.
  • Arm weakness – Arms cannot be raised and kept at the same raised position.
  • Speech problems – Speech becomes slurred with difficulty in remembering the words.
  • Time to call – If your loved one has the three signs above, call an ambulance right away.

Some risk factors of stroke cannot be changed, such as genetics and age, but the study does provide further evidence that a healthy diet and active lifestyle, along with limiting alcohol consumption and refraining from smoking can improve our chance of reducing stroke risk as well as other chronic diseases.

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