The main cause of strokes is often carotid stenosis

The main cause of strokes is often carotid stenosis

Check-ups can significantly reduce the risk of stroke

Heart attack and stroke are among the leading causes of death in industrialized countries. Lack of exercise, an unhealthy diet and tobacco consumption are considered to be essential risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. One of the main causes of stroke is the so-called carotid stenosis, a narrowing of the carotid artery. Since the disease has been without symptoms for a long time, preventive measures and examinations are particularly important for high-risk patients.

Narrown carotid artery can trigger stroke According to estimates by experts from the Center for Stroke Research at the Berlin Charité, around 270,000 people in Germany suffer a stroke every year. Almost 70,000 people die each year from the consequences of a stroke, as the Federal Statistical Office announced. One of the main causes of strokes is so-called arteriosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries in which blood lipids, thrombi, connective tissue and lime are deposited in the arterial walls.

A constriction of the carotid artery (arteria carotis) is often affected, which is largely responsible for the blood supply to the brain. The so-called stenosis (constriction) runs for a long time without symptoms, so that those affected often do not even suspect that they are in great health danger. Because if the blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a carotid stenosis, there is a sudden reduction in blood flow, which can lead to a cerebral infarction. Another dramatic consequence of the stenosis is the formation of blood clots at the constriction, which can also cause a stroke.

Prevent stroke with preventive check-up and a healthy lifestyle "A simple medical ultrasound examination can help diagnose a narrowed area of ​​the carotid artery in good time," reports the head of the University Clinic for Vascular Surgery in Innsbruck, Gustav Fraedrich Family tendencies to vascular diseases can be avoided by regular preventive examinations of strokes, "emphasizes Johann Willeit from the Innsbruck University Clinic for Neurology and President of the Austrian Stroke Society.

If a carotid stenosis is diagnosed during a preventive medical check-up, the standard therapy for patients who already have symptoms is the so-called carotid thrombic endarterectomy (carotid TEA). The arteriosclerotic vasoconstriction is peeled off with the inner layers of the vascular wall. Then the container is sewn with a plastic patch and expanded in this way.

In order to prevent a stroke, the main risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, sedentary lifestyle and increased blood fat levels must be eliminated. A healthy diet is essential. Mediterranean cuisine is particularly suitable, which includes a lot of fruit and vegetables, whole grain products, low-fat milk products and little lean meat and fish, always accompanied by a little olive oil. A special diet is required for diabetics and hypertension patients. Physical activity, abstaining from nicotine and alcohol as well as regular medical checkups can also significantly reduce the risk of stroke. (ag)

Also read about stroke:
In the case of a stroke, those affected are getting younger and younger
Simple questions about stroke diagnosis
More and more children are suffering from a stroke
Olive oil reduces the risk of stroke
Mediterranean cuisine lowers the risk of heart attack
Lack of sleep promotes stroke and heart attack

Photo credit: Gerd Altmann /

Author and source information

Video: Workshop 1 Carotid stenosis but asymptomatic: operate or stent and when? (September 2020).