Know the Main Causes and Risk Factors of Stroke

By John Pinto

Understanding The Common Causes Of Strokes

Strokes are one of the most common illnesses impacting older adults and result in thousands of deaths each year. Sadly, many strokes are preventable. Understanding common stroke risk factors can help you make informed decisions about your lifestyle to prevent strokes.
This is part of a series of blogs discussing stroke awareness presented by VSCP LAW.

What Is A Stroke?

A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, happens when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted or reduced. With a lack of oxygen to the brain, brain tissue cannot get the necessary oxygen and nutrients to survive and repair itself.  As a result, strokes can lead to brain damage, disability, and even death.

What Are Common Causes Of Strokes?

Generally, there are two leading causes of strokes: blocked arteries or burst blood vessels. However, doctors may classify a stroke as one of three different types.

  1. Ischemic Stroke. This is the most common type of stroke. When the brain’s blood vessels become narrowed or blocked, the blockage results in reduced blood flow (“ischemia”) to the brain.
  2. Hemorrhagic Stroke. This occurs when a blood vessel in your brain leaks or ruptures. The blood continues to increase and ultimately compresses the surrounding brain tissue. Hemorrhagic strokes occur either within the brain (intracerebral) or in the space between your brain and the surrounding membrane (subarachnoid).
  3. Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA). Sometimes referred to as a mini-stroke, a TIA occurs when there is blocked blood flow to the brain for a short time (usually less than five minutes). TIAs present with the same warning signs as an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, so it’s imperative to seek immediate medical attention if those warning signs are present. 

Common Stroke Risk Factors

Strokes are diverse, and several different risk factors may cause a stroke. Common stroke risk factors include:

  • Sedentary lifestyles
  • Poor dietary choices
  • Heavy drinking
  • Smoking
  • Illegal drug use
  • Physical inactivity
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Age 55 or older
  • Use of hormonal drugs
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

Can I Lower My Stroke Risk Factors?

Although not all strokes are preventable, you can attempt to reduce your risk of stroke.
Simple lifestyle changes may mitigate and eliminate a majority of the common causes of stroke in your life. These changes include:

  • Consuming more plant-based foods
  • Engaging in regular exercise
  • Controlling hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Quitting smoking
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation, if at all
  • Treating sleep apnea
  • Managing diabetes
  • Avoiding illegal drugs

What Medications Can I Take To Prevent Stroke?

If you’ve had a TIA or are at high risk of stroke due to health complications, your doctor may prescribe you medication to reduce the chance of suffering a stroke. Those include:

Cholesterol-lowering medications. High cholesterol can lead to fatty build-up in the artery walls that narrows or blocks the artery to the brain, which is one of the common causes of stroke. Statins are an example of cholesterol-lowering medicine.

Anti-hypertensives. High blood pressure is one of the most significant stroke risk factors. If your blood pressure is too high, your arteries can thicken over time. They become weaker, less flexible, and then become more prone to blood clots.

Antiplatelet drugs. Platelets are cells in your blood that form blood clots. Antiplatelet drugs make these cells less sticky and therefore less likely to clot. Aspirin is an example of an antiplatelet drug.

Anticoagulants. These drugs thin out the blood and reduce blood clotting.

If you believe a loved one has suffered a stroke resulting from a health care provider’s actions or inactions, contact VSCP LAW at

Have You Suffered
From A Stroke?

Download our e-book to learn more about delayed diagnosis and a misdiagnosis of a stroke and how to address it.

Download Ebook

How To Spot A
Stroke Fast

Download PDF

Your brain is the processing center for your body. It controls what you think, h...

The Most Common Medical Malpractice Errors in Philadelphia

People often confuse medical errors and medical malpractice. Medical errors are...

Personal Injury Attorneys in Philadelphia: Transforming Your Legal Journey

A term that you may hear in the context of personal injury cases is “catastrophi...

tag on yout theme's header.php Read the detailed step-by-step at */ // auxiliary code to create triggers for the add and remove class for later use (function($){ $.each(["addClass","removeClass"],function(i,methodname){ var oldmethod = $.fn[methodname]; $.fn[methodname] = function(){ oldmethod.apply( this, arguments ); this.trigger(methodname+"change"); return this; } }); })(jQuery); // main function for the infinite loop function vc_custominfiniteloop_init(vc_cil_element_id){ var vc_element = '#' + vc_cil_element_id; // because we're using this more than once let's create a variable for it window.maxItens = jQuery(vc_element).data('per-view'); // max visible items defined window.addedItens = 0; // auxiliary counter for added itens to the end // go to slides and duplicate them to the end to fill space jQuery(vc_element).find('.vc_carousel-slideline-inner').find('.vc_item').each(function(){ // we only need to duplicate the first visible images if (window.addedItens < window.maxItens) { if (window.addedItens == 0 ) { // the fisrt added slide will need a trigger so we know it ended and make it "restart" without animation jQuery(this).clone().addClass('vc_custominfiniteloop_restart').removeClass('vc_active').appendTo(jQuery(this).parent()); } else { jQuery(this).clone().removeClass('vc_active').appendTo(jQuery(this).parent()); } window.addedItens++; } }); // add the trigger so we know when to "restart" the animation without the user knowing about it jQuery('.vc_custominfiniteloop_restart').bind('addClasschange', null, function(){ // navigate to the carousel element , I know, its ugly ... var vc_carousel = jQuery(this).parent().parent().parent().parent(); // first we temporarily change the animation speed to zero jQuery(vc_carousel).data('vc.carousel').transition_speed = 0; // make the slider go to the first slide without animation and because the fist set of images shown // are the same that are being shown now the slider is now "restarted" without that being visible jQuery(vc_carousel).data('vc.carousel').to(0); // allow the carousel to go to the first image and restore the original speed setTimeout("vc_cil_restore_transition_speed('"+jQuery(vc_carousel).prop('id')+"')",100); }); } // restore original speed setting of vc_carousel function vc_cil_restore_transition_speed(element_id){ // after inspecting the original source code the value of 600 is defined there so we put back the original here jQuery('#' + element_id).data('vc.carousel').transition_speed = 500; } // init jQuery(document).ready(function(){ // find all vc_carousel with the defined class and turn them into infine loop jQuery('.vc_custominfiniteloop').find('div[data-ride="vc_carousel"]').each(function(){ // allow time for the slider to be built on the page // because the slider is "long" we can wait a bit before adding images and events needed var vc_cil_element = jQuery(this).prop("id"); setTimeout("vc_custominfiniteloop_init('"+vc_cil_element+"')",500); }); }); });