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.