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As a stroke specialist in Singapore, I frequently answer questions about stroke risk factors and prevention. People often want to know about the factors that increase their risk of experiencing a stroke and what steps they can take to minimize that risk. I offer personalized guidance tailored to each person’s circumstances.

Dr. Manish Taneja

Stroke Specialist, Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic

Introduction to Stroke Risk Factors and Prevention FAQs

Strokes are one of the leading causes of adult disability and death in the world. Stroke screening and healthy living help to decrease the chances of one happening, but the impact of these conditions is still devastating for many people and their families. This article should answer some questions regarding the causes of strokes, who is at the most risk for having one, and other facts about the ailment.

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Doctor discussing with senior patient to assess for stroke risk factors.

1. Are strokes more common in males or females?

Strokes can occur to members of any demographic, but women are at higher risk of having one than men, particularly during age groups 45 and under. This is due to several unique risk factors that are specific to females such as:

  • A longer average lifespan (Strokes become more likely as you age)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) during pregnancy or postpartum
  • Pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, eclampsia, and gestational diabetes
  • The use of certain contraceptives and post-menopausal hormone therapy
  • The onset of menstruation before age 10
  • The onset of menopause before age 45 (either natural or surgical)
  • Higher rates of depression among women

 

2. Can a blood clot in the leg cause a stroke?

A blood clot in the deep veins of your leg is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). While this condition can be life-threatening, this type of blood clot does not lead to strokes or heart attacks. A blood clot in the heart or brain is called arterial thrombosis and can cause a stroke or heart attack. Read our interesting article if you’d like to know the difference in symptoms between the two.

 

3. Can a hole in the heart cause a stroke?

Having a small opening or flap between the upper chambers (atria) of your heart is known as Patent foramen ovale (PFO). Everyone has this opening before birth, but it closes in most people after being born. PFO often doesn’t exhibit any symptoms or require treatment. But there is an uncommon possibility that PFO can lead to the instance of an ischemic stroke or mini-stroke (also known as a transient ischemic stroke).

 

4. Can brain stroke repeat?

The first few months immediately following a stroke are the most concerning, but people who have suffered one stroke are now at an elevated risk of having another one. To maintain good health and lower the chances of a second stroke, patients must uphold healthy diet and drinking habits, avoid smoking, and take prescribed medications as directed by their doctor. Find out more on our blog post on how to prevent a second stroke.

 

5. Can children get strokes?

Strokes that affect children, also known as pediatric strokes, are rare, but possible. Both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes can occur in kids of all ages. The risk factors for pediatric strokes include heart disease, issues with blood vessels supplying the brain, blood clotting disorders, and sickle cell disease. If your child exhibits any symptoms of a stroke, seek medical attention immediately.

 

6. Can mini-strokes reoccur?

Anyone who suffers a mini-stroke is more likely to suffer a recurrent stroke in the near future. A 2011 study showed that the risk of a stroke after a transient ischemic attack (TIA) within 90 days of the initial event is between 2% and 17%. The research also found that one in five TIA patients will have another stroke, a heart attack, or die within a year.

 

7. Can stroke affect young adults more?

The effects of a stroke are similarly devastating regardless of age, but the threat of a stroke is increasingly prevalent among younger demographics. The rates of adults under the age of 50 suffering a stroke have been on the rise for a few decades. Stamford Health noted two common stroke causes that affect younger adults more than older populations typically more likely to suffer a stroke.

Cervical artery dissection is behind 10-25% of strokes in young adults but only 2% of strokes in people over 65. This occurs when the walls of large neck vessels are damaged and disrupt blood flow. This can happen spontaneously or as a result of intense physical stress. PFO is another leading cause of strokes in young people. Here’s a few important things you need to know about stroke in younger adults.

 

8. Can you exercise after a mini-stroke?

Yes you can, and there is plenty of evidence that doing so will help you physically and mentally recover faster after a stroke. When most people think about exercise, they think it has to be an intense and demanding routine, but it can be as straightforward as going for an extended walk at your own pace. Reducing sedentary time is more important than pushing yourself to the limit. Consult with your doctor to learn how to stay active without increasing the risk of a recurrent stroke or other health problems.

 

9. Can you have a stroke with normal blood pressure?

While strokes are often associated with high blood pressure, they can also occur in individuals with normal blood pressure due to other factors such as a lack of physical activity, smoking habits, poor diet, high blood cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes. Blood clots can form due to coronary heart disease, heart valve disease, carotid artery disease, and atrial fibrillation.

 

10. Do I have to take statins after a stroke?

Statins are prescription medications given to patients to lower their cholesterol levels. They work by blocking your liver’s ability to make cholesterol. This makes it less likely for a recurrent stroke to occur. The decision to take statins as part of stroke management should be made in consultation with your doctor or other medical professionals.

 

Receive Personalized Stroke Screening and Treatment in Singapore at Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic

Strokes are one of the main causes of death in the world and anyone who experiences the symptoms of one should seek help as soon as possible. At Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic, we understand that every person deserves individualized treatment. Whether it’s through providing preventative care through stroke screening tests and advice on how to make better lifestyle choices or administering high-level care in the aftermath of one with the latest technology, we are here to help our patients stay healthy. Contact us today to ask any questions or schedule a consultation with our stroke and neurointervention specialist, Dr. Manish Taneja, in Singapore.

Your Guide to Prevent a Second Stroke

Prevent strokes with these lifestyle changes and medical management. Learn the risk factors and how to reduce them in our stroke prevention guide.

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Stroke Resources

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Controllable risk factors are lifestyle choices that can be changed to reduce the risk of having a stroke including managing your cholesterol.

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We’ve Got You Covered for Specialized Stroke Screening, Prevention, and Management

 

Imagine heart attacks where the blood flow to your heart is blocked. Similarly, a stroke occurs when the blood flow to your brain is interrupted becoming a “brain attack”. When blood supply does not reach a certain part, brain cells begin to die. Different types of stroke include ischemic strokes (blockage of blood vessel due to blood clot) or a mini stroke, a TIA (transient ischemic attack), with no permanent damage yet serious. Stroke also occurs when a blood vessel in the brain pops causing bleeding in the brain.

Certain areas of the brain can be affected by stroke and some symptoms of a stroke including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood sugar levels increase the risk of stroke whereas an active lifestyle or controlling high cholesterol reduces the risk. How well do you know stroke? Find tips to prevent and manage stroke, the differences in stroke screening tests, and the newer technology and treatments available. Come in for an easy consultation and further evaluation with our stroke specialist in Singapore at the Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic.

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A brain aneurysm is a weak or bulging area in the wall of an artery in the brain. When an aneurysm ruptures or bursts, it can lead to a type of stroke called a hemorrhagic stroke.

Neurointerventional / Stroke Treatments

The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is your “go-to” facility for various neurointerventional / stroke conditions and treatments. To arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our neurointervention specialist, contact us. You can also call us at (+65) 6904 8084 for a consultation.