Stroke - Some information
Most strokes occur in the second half of life and are caused by damage to the blood vessels - and sometimes to the heart - which has been building up slowly for many years. The actual stroke takes place either when a blood clot forms in a damaged vessel and blocks the flow of blood to part of the brain, or when a damaged blood vessel in the brain bursts and blood pours from the brain itself.
In at least half of all strokes the reason why the blood vessels become damaged in the first place is because they have been exposed to high blood pressure. If in addition the patient smokes, drinks heavily, is overweight, takes too much salt in his diet, or has heart disease or diabetes the risk of stroke is increased. A number of other factors are suspected, but there is no single cause of stroke.
Unfortunately anyone can suffer a stroke at any time, although the risks can be substantially reduced by a healthy life style, including the avoidance of smoking, and especially by having blood pressure checked and if it is too high, ensuring that it is kept under control by treatment.