Stroke and cerebrovascular disease
- Stroke definition
- Cerebrovascular disease definition
- Stroke: abrupt interruption of blood flow
- Cerebrovascular disease: All disorders affecting the brain
- Stroke is part of cerebrovascular disease
Cerebrovascular disease comprises all disorders whereby blood flow to the brain is affected leading to the temporal or permanent dysfunction of the brain. Therefore, stroke is one of the cerebrovascular diseases. Blood flow to the brain could be interrupted in various ways including clot formation (thrombosis), narrowing of blood vessels (stenosis), rupture of blood vessels (hemorrhage), or blockage (embolism). Stroke is mainly caused by the insufficient flow of blood to the brain, also known as ischemia.
- Artery diseases, history of transient ischemic attacks
- Diabetes, high blood cholesterol
- Obesity, physical inactivity
All these risk factors affect the blood flow to brain in one way or another. Hypertension and artery diseases could lead to rupture of blood vessels, while diabetes and high blood cholesterol could lead to carotid stenosis characterized by blocked internal carotid arteries by fat or cholesterol accumulation through atherosclerosis (McArdle et al., 2018). Physical inactivity could cause obesity, which in turn increases the risk of hypertension and other related conditions, thus exposing an individual to stroke and cerebrovascular disease.
Uncontrollable risk factors
- Hereditary factors
- History of heart attack or stroke
The aged are at a higher risk of having this health problem as compared to the young ones because aging comes with a wide array of health challenges due to the wearing down of functionality of different body organs. In terms of gender, men are more likely to have a stroke as compared to women. Similarly, a family history of cerebrovascular disease and stroke is a major predisposing factor. Blacks are more likely to die from this condition than Caucasians due to the higher risk of having diabetes and hypertension (Muntner et al., 2017). Finally, a history of heart attack increases the chances of having this disease significantly.
Connection to the Etiology
- Hypertension causes rupture of blood vessels
- Cholesterol deposits and fat accumulation cause blockage
- Old age contributes to organ failure
- Obesity and physical inactivity aid in blockage
- Diabetes erodes blood capillaries
The various risk factors of cerebrovascular disease and stroke are directly associated with the initial injury to blood vessels. For instance, hypertension causes rupture of blood vessels while cholesterol deposits and fat accumulation directly cause blockages. Similarly, old age leads to the hardening of blood vessels increasing the risk of rupture, while obesity and lack of physical activity compound the problem of the accumulation of fat deposits in the blood arteries leading to blockage.
Progression from injury to defect
- Initial injury occurs
- Through rupture
- Or blockage
- Sufficient blood cannot reach brain
- Organ (brain) failure
After the initial injury occurs through either rupture or blockage of blood vessels, the normal flow of blood to the brain is interrupted. On the one hand, ruptured blood vessels imply that blood spills, while blockage means the flow is restricted. Therefore, the brain does not get sufficient blood flow to supply enough oxygen that is needed for normal functioning. Ultimately, the brain cannot function properly due to lack of oxygen leading to its failure or defect. A dysfunctional brain is the main cause of stroke and cerebrovascular disease.
Healthcare provider implication
- Checking cholesterol levels
- Control blood pressure
- Control diabetes
- Encourage physical activity
- Address obesity
The information presented in this paper has widespread implications for healthcare providers. They need to take the necessary measures to address all the risk factors and other underlying conditions that could lead to these diseases. For instance, routine check-ups to determine the levels of cholesterol and sugar in the blood would help in preventing disease progression. Additionally, addressing the problem of obesity by encouraging physical activity would play a central role in preventing stroke and cerebrovascular disease early enough before symptoms could even start showing.
- Patients lack information
- Educate them
- Patient-centered care
- Evidence-based care
Healthcare provision is shifting to patient-centered care where patients play an active role in ensuring their wellbeing. Additionally, care providers are being encouraged to embrace evidence-based practices hinged on the best practices in various fields. Therefore, patient education would play a central role in ensuring that patients get the relevant information to make the right decisions concerning their health (Fereidouni et al., 2019). Informed patients would take preventive measures in their day-to-day lives by avoiding risk factors and taking intervention measures, such as avoiding smoking and exercising. Ultimately, the burden of disease would be reduced significantly.
- Diseases of the brain
- Risk factors
- Connection to etiology
- Progression to defect
- Health care provider implication
Stroke and cerebrovascular disease are brain conditions caused by the interruption of blood flow to the brain. Major risk factors include smoking, hypertension, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, obesity, physical inactivity, disease history, and hereditary factors. Once the initial injury occurs, blood flow to the brain is interrupted which leads to an insufficient supply of blood to the brain hence defects and dysfunction. Therefore, health care providers should work on addressing these issues as a preventive approach through patient education and other intervention measures.
Fereidouni, Z., Sabet Sarvestani, R., Hariri, G., Kuhpaye, S. A., Amirkhani, M., & Kalyani, M. N. (2019). Moving into action: The master key to patient education. The Journal of Nursing Research, 27(1), 1–8.
McArdle, M. J., Abbott, A. L., & Krajcer, Z. (2018). Carotid Artery Stenosis in Women. Texas Heart Institute Journal, 45(4), 243–245.
Muntner, P., Abdalla, M., Correa, A., Griswold, M., Hall, J. E., Jones, D. W., Mensah, G. A., Sims, M., Shimbo, D., Spruill, T. M., Tucker, K. L., & Appel, L. J. (2017). Hypertension in Blacks: Unanswered questions and future directions for the JHS (Jackson Heart Study). Hypertension, 69(5), 761–769.