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What are the Triggers of a Stroke?

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Stroke related image Photo: Getty Images

In 2006, 137,119 people died of a stroke, according to the American Heart Association. A stroke occurs when the blood supply becomes disrupted in your brain. If the blood supply is cut off by a blood clot, it is an ischemic stroke. If a blood vessel bursts in your brain that results in bleeding in the brain, it is a hemorrhagic stroke. While men have strokes more often than women, women have a larger risk when they are pregnant or soon after giving birth, noted MedlinePlus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

Certain factors can increase your risk of a stroke. MedlinePlus noted that high blood pressure is the top risk factor, and diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease and a family history of a stroke increase that risk. Other factors can increase your risk of bleeding in the brain. These factors include a head injury, alcohol consumption, cocaine use and bleeding disorders.

But can certain factors trigger a stroke? In a new study published in the journal Stroke, the researchers wrote that certain conditions, while they are not proven stroke triggers, may have a connection to a higher risk. The study looked at the triggers of ischemic strokes, and the researchers reviewed 26 studies that investigated factors that increased a person's short-term stroke risk. Two factors that the researchers found to cause an increased risk is alcohol consumption and infections. For example, Reuters Health reported that people who consumed between 40 and 60 grams of alcohol had triple the risk of a stroke over the following 24 hours; the researchers also found a link in a stroke increase in people who consumed more than 150 grams of alcohol in a week. The researchers also found that an infection increased the risk of a stroke occurring between the next week to one month later by two to three times.

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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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