Blood pressure is one of the leading causes of strokes. But how exactly does your blood pressure affect your chance of a stroke? Well…
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can strain your arteries and make them weaker and more vulnerable to atherosclerosis. It can also result in atrial fibrillation, which can cause blood clots to form. In both cases incurring a stroke is more likely.
More information on that, written below.
Hypertension And Atherosclerosis
For the first link, let’s discuss atherosclerosis. This is a condition marked by the narrowing and hardening of arteries, which blocks off the flow of blood – and thus the nutrients and oxygen that it supplies to the other parts of the body.
Hypertension has since been proven to be one of the most common indications of coronary heart disease. It causes the arterial walls to tense and accelerates atherosclerosis.
But how does that affect your chance of incurring a stroke? Well, this can effectively result in the occlusion of the blood vessels in your brain, and with the brain blocked off from oxygen, its cells begin to die. Causing a stroke to occur, which can prove either fatal or result in severe disablement.
Hypertension And Atrial Fibrillation
On the other side of the fence, if it isn’t clogged arteries caused by atherosclerosis, then the trigger might be something called atrial fibrillation (AFib.) This is another condition that is prevalent in the United States.
In fact, around 2.2 million in the US suffer from AFib. But what is it, exactly? Well, AFib is a condition marked by an irregular heartbeat that is unpredictable and much too fast. When this happens, the heart might end up collecting more blood than it should, which causes blood clots to be more likely to occur.
It’s only when the clot begins to travel the bloodstream can it incur a stroke. But, according to the National Institution of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH), that doesn’t change the fact that AFib still causes around 1 in 4 strokes.
Although the prospect might seem grim, there are treatments available for both of the conditions mentioned.
In the case of atherosclerosis, for example, there are preventative measures and surgeries (like the Coronary Artery Bypass Graft) that can be done in order to stay the progression of the disease. The same can be said for AFib, which requires the use of blood thinners to help lessen the chances of a person inducing strokes.
In either case, there is no ultimate cure. However, that doesn’t mean that you should live in fear of incurring a stroke for the rest of your life. If you’re still unsure about your chances. Feel free to contact a medical professional and see what they can do to help.
- “Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke Information Page.” National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Atrial-Fibrillation-and-Stroke-Information-Page.