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The Risk of Stroke with Alcohol Consumption

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Do you drink? That after work drink you use to de-stress may increase your risk of having a stroke. The American Heart Association notes that the small study, which included 181 women and 209 men who had an ischemic stroke, investigated the risk of a stroke after drinking.

An ischemic stroke results from a blot clot, which prevents blood from reaching the brain. Blood carries oxygen that the brain cells need to survive; if no blood reaches the blood tissue, the cells can die. As a result, the longer the period between the onset of the stroke and treatment, the more extensive the brain damage can be. The Merck Manual Home Edition points out that muscle weakness or paralysis, loss of vision, double vision and dizziness can occur with an ischemic stroke. Some patients may experience confusion or slurred speech. Drinking alcohol may contribute to the clot formation. The American Heart Association explains that alcohol raises blood pressure and also makes blood platelets stickier.

In the study, which was reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, the researchers interviewed patients three days post-stroke. People who had severe speech problems or were not physically able to answer the questions were not included in the study. The researchers found that 14 people participating in the study consumed alcohol within an hour of the stroke occurring. The American Heart Association reports that people had a 2.3 times higher risk of a stroke in the first hour and a 1.6 times higher risk of a stroke in the second hour of alcohol consumption.

The researchers found that this effect occurring whether people drank beer, wine or hard liquor. Other possible risks for a stroke, such as strenuous exercise, were eliminated; even after this, the risk of a stroke after drinking still occurred.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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