Stroke risk may increase with caring for a sick spouse or experiencing violence. In a study, spouse caregivers that were stressed had a 95 percent higher risk of stroke compared to matched controls.

Lead author, Sindhu Lakkur, said, “Stroke is one of the leading causes of adult disability, so overnight someone can go from perfectly fine to having severe impairments in physical and cognitive [mental] function, and this can put a really big strain on the family.”

Chronic stress raises blood cortisol, which increases inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation contributes to hardened arteries and makes them narrow, reducing the blood flow and thus contributing to stroke.


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