Risk Factors and Symptoms

Risk Factors and Symptoms of a Stroke and TIA
Risks of a Stroke:
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • High Cholesterol
  • Family History
  • Age – the risk of stroke doubles after age 55
  • Sex – Males have a 19% greater risk of stroke than females
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Increased Hematocrit – A higher red blood cell count can lead to an increase in plaque build up
  • Alcohol intake – causes an increase in blood pressure, obesity, triglycerides, cancer and heart failure, which all increase the risk of a stoke
Symptoms include:
  • Paralysis or weakness on one side of the face or body.
  • Numbness or tingling on one side of the face or body.
  • Difficulty speaking – You know what you want to say but your mouth will not say it.
  • Loss of vision in one eye – may seem like a curtain is coming down over the eye.
  • Drooping of one side of the face.
  • *Symptoms of a TIA will be similar to a stoke but will last for only a short period of time – no longer than 24 hours.

Risk Factors and Symptoms of a AAA (Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm)
Risks of a AAA:
  • You have a close blood relative (parent, brother or sister) who has had a AAA.
  • You have smoked.
  • Have an aneurysm in another vessel.
  • If you are a male over the age of 55 or a female over the age of 65.
Symptoms include:
  • An AAA is often a silent problem because it usually causes no symptoms.
  • Occasional back or belly pain may occur.

Risk Factors and Symptoms of Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
Risks of PAD:
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Age - 60 or older
  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol and/or a high fat diet
Symptoms of PAD
  • Cramping or aching in buttocks, thigh and/or calves after walking a short distance
  • The pain will subside with a short period of rest
  • Worsens when going uphill or up stairs

Risk Factors and Symptoms of Varicose Veins
Risks for Varicose Veins:
  • Family history of varicose veins
  • Have a job that keeps you standing or sitting at a desk all day
  • Women that have been pregnant
  • Injury (trauma) to that area
Symptoms of Varicose Veins include:
  • Leg fatigue
  • Leg pain or aching
  • Itching
  • Swelling

Risk Factors and Symptoms of a Deep Vein Thombosis (DVT)
Risks for a DVT:
  • Long plane or car ride
  • Long period of standing
  • Long period of bed rest
  • Pregnancy
  • Oral Contraceptives
  • Obesity
  • Varicose Veins
  • Dehydration
  • Recent trauma
  • Cardiac disease causing a low flow state
  • Cancer – increasing hypercoaguability
  • Previous DVT
Symptoms of a DVT include:
  • Unilateral swelling (one leg)
  • Pain and tenderness in that limb
  • Discoloration of the limb
  • Chest Pain

Risk Factors and Symptoms of renal artery stenosis (Arteries that feed the kidneys)
Risks for renal artery stenosis if:
  • Smoker
  • Hypertension
  • High Cholesterol
Symptoms of renal artery stenosis
  • A person with renal artery stenosis will experience uncontrollable high blood pressure.

Risk Factors and Symptoms of Mesenteric Artery Stenosis
Risks for Mesenteric Artery Stenosis if:
  • Smoker
  • Hypertension
  • High Cholesterol
Symptoms of Mesenteric Artery Stenosis:
  • Abdominal pain 15-60 minutes after eating that lasts for 1-4 hours post-prandial (after eating).
  • Aversion to food – will not eat due to severe pain
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal bruit
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