In the era where infectious diseases are effectively treated with antibiotics, safer cars are built and more restrictions are placed on firearm possession, but no restrictions are placed on the things people eat, conditions such as cancer, heart disease and cerebrovascular disease arise as the main causes of morbidity and mortality.
Of those diseases, heart disease and stroke (cerebrovascular disease) are the ones that are rising. The explanation is simple: There is a growing percentage of people who are overweight, that leads to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, diabetes and vascular disease.
Of those, cerebrovascular disease (stroke) is the one that leads to more disabilities.
Cerebrovascular disease (stroke) comes in two flavors:
* Ischemic stroke which is the one that results from the interruption of blood flow to any part of the brain (cerebral infarction) due to blood clotting directly inside a damaged artery of the brain or when thrombi that are originated inside the heart (due to arrhythmias or prothrombotic conditions) travel through the arteries and "gets stuck" inside a brain vessel (thrombotic or thromboembolic stroke).
* Hemorrhagic stroke is the one that results from the rupture of any vessel of the brain or any vascular malformation (aneurism or arteriovenous malformation). It also disrupts blood flow to the brain, increases intracranial pressure, can cause secondary ischemia and have a mass effect on the structures that it damages.
There are two types of hemorrhagic stroke:
Hemorrhaghic stroke accounts for about 17 percent of stroke cases. In 1994 nearly 1 in every 15 americans died of stroke. The ones that did not die had different degrees of permanent disability. Risk factors can be eliminated, treated or reduced.
Risk factors that can be eliminated:
* Drugs that increase blood pressure (cocaine, amphetamines)
Risk factors that can be treated:
* Isolated Systolic Hypertension
* High blood pressure
* Hemorrhagic disorders
Risk factors that can not be modified
* Gender (male)
* Vascular malformations