16.5 MILLION Americans at risk of stroke from excessive exercise, study suggests

Millions of Americans are at risk of stroke if they exercise too much, study suggests.

Researchers have found that people with carotid artery stenosis, which affects an estimated five percent of the country, are at risk of suffering sudden clots in the brain from simple activities like brisk walking, swimming or even Zumba. .

During strenuous exercise, plaque in major arteries can break loose and travel to the brain where it blocks a blood vessel causing a stroke.

It suggests that as many as 16.5 million Americans may want to refrain from going all-out while exercising.

Vigorous exercise could increase risk of suffering a stroke, study suggests (stock)

Vigorous exercise could increase risk of suffering a stroke, study suggests (stock)

Pictured above is a carotid artery containing plaques (left) and without plaques (right).  Everyone has two carotid arteries that run on either side of the neck (pictured)

Pictured above is a carotid artery containing plaques (left) and without plaques (right). Everyone has two carotid arteries that run on either side of the neck (pictured)

Carotid artery stenosis is a condition in which plaque builds up in the carotid arteries, narrowing the space for blood to travel through.

These arteries run through the neck and are responsible for supplying blood, containing vital nutrients and oxygen, to the brain and certain parts of the face.

Sudden increases in blood pressure, such as those during exercise, can cause plaques to dislodge, which could trigger a stroke.

The number of Americans with carotid artery stenosis has increased over the past two decades, data suggest.

In the early 2000s, an estimated two million Americans were estimated to suffer from the condition. But now theCleveland Clinicsays about five percent of all adults have the condition, or 16.5 million people.

Being overweight or obese is a major risk factor for the condition, scientists say. A sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, or smoking also increases someone’s risk.

In the study, published this week in the journal Physics of Fluids, scientists built a computer simulation of one of the carotid arteries.

They simulated three carotid arteries: one healthy, one with “mild” 30% blockage, and one with “severe” 50% blockage.

Each was then given an exercise-induced heart rate of 140 beats per minute (bpm), which can be achieved with brisk walking, cycling and Zumba among other activities for obese people.

They were also simulated under conditions of a resting heart rate of 67 and a moderate exercise rate of 100bpm.

Scientists found that healthy and slightly clogged carotid arteries improved their health with exercise.

But for those with severe blockage, the results have been described as ‘worrying’.

The model showed stress on the area which increased the risk of the stricture rupturing and releasing some of the plaque into the bloodstream.

This could then travel to the brain and lodge in a blood vessel within the organ, blocking the oxygen supply and causing a stroke.

Dr Somnath Roy, a mechanical engineer at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur outside Kolkata and lead author of the study, said: ‘Vigorous exercise shows adverse effects on patients with moderate or higher stricture levels.

‘It substantially increases the shear stress in the area of ​​the stricture, which can cause the stricture to rupture.

“This ruptured plaque can then flow to the brain and its blood supply, causing an ischemic stroke.”

The scientists added in the paper, “While stressful exercise may be beneficial for improving cardiac performance in healthy individuals, the same can lead to extremely adverse consequences to elevated heart rates due to strenuous physical activities for patients with extensive arterial blockages.”

The image above shows the carotid arteries at three different beats per minute rates for the heart and in healthy individuals, as well as those with 30% and 50% blockage.  This was based on computer models

The image above shows the carotid arteries at three different beats per minute rates for the heart and in healthy individuals, as well as those with 30% and 50% blockage. This was based on computer models

Previous studies, including a 2010 analysis of stroke patients, have found that the risk of stroke increases at least two-fold after exercise.

A meta-analysis of 13,000 strokes in 2021 in Europe also showed that acute anger, emotional upset and strenuous physical exertion were associated with a higher risk of stroke.

The authors noted that all of these increased heart rate, increasing the risk of a plaque breaking loose and causing a stroke.

Dr Andrew Smyth, an epidemiologist at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and leader of this study, told TODAY: ‘We believe these trigger events may increase heart rate, raise blood pressure and lead to hormonal changes that alter blood flows in blood vessels. read like the brain, which can increase the risk of stroke.

‘That said, not every episode of anger or emotional upset or strenuous physical exertion leads to a stroke.

“Likewise, not all individuals who have a high burden of cardiovascular risk factors will have a stroke.”

Limitations of the latest study included that it was modeled and may not accurately reflect how events would play out in real life.

Experts cautioned that the model may also have overestimated the speed of blood movement at high heart rates, affecting the results.

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Image Source : www.dailymail.co.uk

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