Stroke risk factors often go undiagnosed – these are the symptoms

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Von: Sofia Lother


Angiogram of a narrowed artery
The narrowed artery shown on the angiogram can trigger a stroke. (Archival image) © Science Photo Library / Imago

Often undiagnosed, they are still devastating. A study addresses the main vascular risk factors for a stroke.

Frankfurt – The consequences of a stroke are often devastating. According to the MSD manual, it occurs when a blood vessel in the brain becomes occluded or ruptured. This cuts off the blood supply to parts of the brain, which can lead to the death of entire areas. If brain swelling occurs, the lives of those affected are at great risk.

About 200,000 people in Germany suffer their first stroke every year. 70,000 repeated seizures also occur annually, according to the Robert Koch Institute. Due to its wide distribution, there is already a lot of scientific literature on aspects such as symptoms and factors that increase risk. However, a study by Lausanne researchers has now concluded that major vascular risk factors for stroke often remain unrecognized and undiagnosed. But what are these factors and what are the symptoms?

Stroke Risk Factors: Study Provides New Details

In their work presented at the 2022 European Academy of Neurology Congress, the researchers looked at a total of 4,354 stroke patients. More than two-thirds with previously undiagnosed major vascular risk factors (UMRFs) had identified at least one of these factors.

The most common was the Dyslipidemia (61.4 percent). This is a fat metabolism disorder. It is present when the lipid level is too high or the HDL cholesterol level is too low.

Possible deposits of fat on the skin and tendons
In some cases, cloudy white or gray rings form at the edge of the cornea
It can lead to an enlarged liver
Tingling or burning in the feet and hands
breathing difficulties and confusion
Pancreatitis can develop
Which: MSD Manual

Stroke risk factors: what to watch out for

About 24 percent found it high blood pressure (hypertension) has emerged as a commonly unrecognized vascular risk factor for stroke. This is usually not expressed by any specific symptoms. According to the health portal Symptoms like dizziness and blurred vision usually only occur when blood pressure is extremely high.

Stroke: Atrial fibrillation identified as a risk factor

The researchers identified the third risk factor atrial fibrillation. This was demonstrated in every tenth of the stroke victims in the study. According to the German Heart Foundation, this occurs when there is additional arousal in the atria of the heart. As a result, uncontrolled impulses are transmitted to the ventricles, which means that the atria can no longer fill with enough blood. As a result, the performance of the heart decreases by about 20%. According to the foundation, atrial fibrillation manifests itself with the following symptoms:

  • tachycardia or “palpitations”
  • Malaise, weakness, restlessness, fear
  • dizziness
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • momentary unconsciousness
  • Half of those affected have no symptoms

Stroke: The study identifies risk factors that often go undetected

The researchers also covered Diabetes mellitus as a risk factor for stroke. However, this was only the case for 5.2 percent of those surveyed. Depending on how long and how high the sugar level is, different symptoms of diabetes can become evident. If there is a permanently high blood sugar level, this can become evident through severe thirst, an increased urge to urinate, fatigue, lack of driving, as well as nausea and dizziness. On the other hand, a very high blood sugar level can lead to impaired consciousness and even loss of consciousness, emphasizes the Federal Ministry of Health.

One vascular factor that occurred in about 2%, according to the study, is when the Ejection fraction or Ejection fraction less than 35%. lies. This is according to the portal the amount of blood pumped from the left ventricle into the body in relation to the total amount of blood in the ventricle. A value of 50 to 60 percent is normal for healthy people. Young people would be worth up to 70 percent. A low value is often associated with heart failure.

Stroke: Risk factors identified: often go undiagnosed in advance

The last risk factor for stroke was found in about one percent coronary artery dysfunction determined. The oxygen supply to the large heart muscle suffers from vasoconstriction. The following symptoms are warning signs:

chest pain
The pain can radiate to the arms, neck, back, upper abdomen, or jaw
shortness of breath

Stroke Risk Factors: Study Provides New Details

“Prior to our study, there was little clinical information on stroke frequency, patient profile and mechanisms in acute ischemic stroke patients with previously undiagnosed major vascular risk factors. We hope this study will help identify potential stroke patients who will need more intensive prevention and monitoring techniques in the future, “explains André Rêgo, the first author of the study, according to the European Academy of Neurology. (Sofia Lother)

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