Many people who have heart disease don’t have regular signs that their heart is not doing its job. However, about one million Americans die each year from a stroke or other cardiovascular conditions. Keep reading to determine if you should pay more attention to your heart health. Heart disease can lead to a stroke: what to know.
Some Important Definitions You Should Know
A stroke is a serious medical condition caused by interrupted blood flow to the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.
Heart disease refers to several types of heart conditions including coronary heart disease, faulty valves in the heart, and congestive heart failure. The most common type is coronary heart disease when plaque builds up and narrows our arteries in the heart. It is the leading cause of death for men and women.
Unmanaged Heart Disease
Certain conditions can make heart disease worse.
Heart arrhythmia is an irregular heart beat. A healthy heart should pump blood 60 to 100 times per minute throughout the body. If the heart is not pumping reliably, atrial fibrillation is the result. Ventricular fibrillation is similar but is more erratic leading to cardiac arrest. Overtime, blood clots can form causing a stroke.
Congestive heart failure makes your heart weak and unable to pump blood as it should. Shortness of breath and fatigue are obvious symptoms.
Heart valve disease involves the abnormal function of the valves allowing blood to move backwards causing clots to form.
Damage from a previous heart attack can make heart disease worse and even lead to a stroke.
Pay attention to these conditions and talk with New Jersey Cardiology Associates to decrease your risk.
Leading Risk Factors For A Stroke
Any combination of these factors can increase your risk of suffering a stroke. These are some conditions YOU can control.
- High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke. There are no obvious signs of high blood pressure, but you can have it checked regularly. Medication and lifestyle changes reduce the risk.
- High cholesterol is too much of a fatty substance which can build up in our arteries and brain. A simple blood test can indicate your level of cholesterol.
- Diabetes is a risk factor. Sugars build up in the blood preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to our brain and other parts of our body. Keeping diabetes in check reduces your risk of stroke.
- Obesity is excess body fat. It can lead to both high blood pressure and diabetes. Eating healthy fruits and vegetables, grains, and lean protein can decrease your risk of stroke.
- Lack of exercise, smoking, drinking alcohol all contribute to your risk of having a stroke.
Contact New Jersey Cardiology Associates at one of our locations if you’re experiencing the signs of heart disease or to discuss your personal risk.