Someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds. Every four minutes someone in the U.S. dies of stroke. These statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are unsettling; however, stroke can be preventable, treatable, and even beatable and it starts with certain lifestyle adjustments.
We are aware of major risk factors for strokes such as smoking and being overweight, but Reader's Digest has now identified several other surprising culprits that could increase a person's risk of suffering a stroke.
Here are six surprising things to pay attention to in order to help prevent suffering a stroke:
1. Diet drinks – Researchers have found a link between the consumption of artificially sweetened drinks and an increased risk of stroke. While these findings are not definitive, other studies have found diet sodas can trigger headaches, breakouts, mood swings, and depression, The Daily Meal noted.
2. Flu – At least two separate studies have found flu or flu-like symptoms can increase the risk of stroke within weeks following the illness. This might partly be due to the inflammation that accompanies the flu.
3. Overworking – Those extra hours at the office might be beneficial for the company but not for your health. Researchers noted people who were logging more than 55 hours work per week had a much higher risk of stroke. High stress levels combined with the fact there is less time to prepare healthy meals and exercise might be partly to blame.
4. Illegal drug use and binge drinking – Stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamines can cause strokes even in young and healthy adults, studies have found. Meanwhile, a night of binge drinking can trigger a serious cardiovascular event such as heart attack or stroke.
5. Noise Pollution – Living or working in a noisy area can be detrimental to your health. Aside from frustration and lack of sleep, noise pollution can also increase the risk of stroke.
6. Bleeding Gums – Researchers have found a link between gum disease and increased risk of stroke and other serious cardiovascular events. Experts do not understand the exact relationship between the two but suspect that inflammation from the bacteria in the gums might be to blame.
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