Risk of Stroke Increases with Alcohol Consumption
January 4, 2017
Many new studies show that if a person drinks heavily, their risk for suffering a stroke increases. Consuming greater than one to two drinks each day increases the chances of a stroke from eight to fourteen percent overall. With strokes being a leading national cause of serious medical issues and even death, it is certainly a highly important topic to look at.
The most comprehensive findings are from BMC Medicine. The findings are compiled from information and data from more than 25 different medical studies. BMC Medicine’s analysis showed that people who do not drink or only drink occasionally have an eight percent reduced risk of an ischemic stroke. Drinking occasionally is considered to be a maximum of one to two alcoholic drinks per day. An ischemic stroke is when the brain suffers damage because of a deprivation of oxygen as well as other nutrients. Ischemic strokes often occur as a result of an obstruction within a blood vessel or artery, which supplies blood to the brain. These types of strokes account for more than eighty five percent of all strokes.
Occasional drinkers have a decreased stroke risk, while heavy drinkers are at an overall greater risk for stroke. Heavy drinking is considered consuming up to four drinks a day (or more). When a person has four daily drinks, their risk of ischemic stroke goes up by eight percent. When they have more than four daily drinks, their risk goes up to fourteen percent. In addition to increasing the risk for an ischemic stroke greatly, heavy drinking also increases the chances of a hemorrhagic stroke. A hemorrhagic stroke is when a blood vessel either leaks or bursts in or right around the brain. Heavy drinking increases the chances of a hemorrhagic stroke by a whopping eighty two percent!
The consequences of ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes are potentially huge. People can suffer brain damage, body weakness, paralysis, memory loss, vision problems, speech/language problems and even death. In the United States, strokes are the leading cause of long-term disabilities, meaning the after-effects of the medical event cause debilitating problems to the people who have experienced them. Annually, almost eight hundred thousand American citizens have a stroke. Many of the people who have a stroke are senior citizens, although they can occur in young and middle-aged people as well.
With over one hundred and twenty five thousand people dying each year as a consequence of hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes in the U.S., it is a serious medical issue to examine. Because there are ways for people to reduce their risk of stroke, it is important to be aware of how. While it is very important to discuss specific medical questions with your healthcare professional of general practitioner, the link between not drinking or only drinking occasionally and a smaller chance of stroke has been proven by numerous medical studies. With someone dying from a stroke every four minutes in the country, we can all benefit from knowing the ways in which we can limit our risk for a serious, potentially fatal medical event.
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