Medical statistics show that stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the United States with one death occurring every 4 minutes. Stroke is also a leading cause of disability in adults. These statistics are understandable, bearing in mind that a total of 800,000 new or recurrent cases of stroke occur annually. This means that a case of stroke occurs every 40 seconds.
Stroke happens when a blockage or rupture occurs in a small blood vessel within the brain. This causes a lack of oxygen and nutrients, or bleeding in a part of the brain. It also leads to adverse effects on the part of the body served by the affected part of the brain.
But why does stroke occur? Below are 10 causes of stroke to look out for.
Cause #1: High Blood Pressure
The heart is the body’s pump, whose main function is to propel blood to all tissues and organs through channels known as blood vessels. The pumping action occurs in a series of contractions and relaxation of the heart muscles. When measured, there is an acceptable range of values of blood pressure during the contraction and relaxation phases.
Due to various factors, the blood pressure can deviate from the normal range and when this is elevated, it increases the risk of stroke. High blood pressure will mean that blood exerts a greater than normal force on the walls of the blood vessels. If this happens within the small blood vessels, they may end up bursting. And if this happens within the brain, it leads to a condition called hemorrhagic stroke. This is simply stroke as a result of bleeding.