The drops in temperatures recorded during the fall and winter can increase the occurrence of stroke (stroke) by up to 20%, according to the National Institute of Cardiology.
This happens because the feeling of cold raises blood pressure, one of the main causes of the problem, according to neurosurgeon Feres Chadad, from Beneficência Portuguesa in São Paulo.
“To maintain body temperature, skin vessels enter vasoconstriction, that is, they decrease blood concentration to prevent heat loss. This increases systemic blood pressure, [por isso] vascular pathologies tend to be more easily manifested during cold weather”, explains the doctor.
Prevention of this type of problem, however, does not occur immediately only during these seasons, but with the maintenance of healthy habits throughout life, as highlighted by the specialist. Patients with heart problems are also at increased risk.
“The ideal is to practice physical activities and go to the doctor regularly, to control blood pressure and avoid the natural risk of high pressure”, says Chadad.
Smoking and physical inactivity are some of the factors that increase the predisposition to the occurrence of stroke, as well as high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, excessive alcohol consumption, the use of illicit drugs and advanced age. In addition, the Ministry of Health highlights that being male is also a factor that predisposes to risk for the problem.
It is worth noting that, with the reduction in deaths from Covid-19, Stroke and heart attack are once again the main causes of death in Brazilaccording to data from the Transparency Portal of the Brazilian Civil Registry Offices in the country.
Stroke can be divided into two groups: hemorrhagic and ischemic. The first occurs as a result of hemorrhage caused by the rupture of a cerebral vessel; the second type, which represents 85% of cases, can be caused by the death of brain cells due to obstruction of an artery, thrombosis or embolism.
The neurosurgeon points out that a stroke can occur, initially, with mild symptoms and then progress to a more severe condition, or manifest itself in an acute form.
“A stroke is characterized by a deficit that indicates a brain impairment or a neurological deficit, whether motor, with decreased strength in the arm and leg, a loss of vision [em um ou nos dois olhos] or patient begins to lower consciousness”, explains Chadad.
In addition, symptoms such as weakness and tingling only on one side of the body, whether in the face, arm or leg; changes in speech or comprehension; sudden headache with no apparent cause can also be a sign of a stroke.
“If the person is going to pick up a glass and they can’t hold it properly, because they’re suddenly losing strength, that’s a sign of a stroke. Any of these clinical manifestations, the person should seek a doctor immediately, because this symptom can evolve”, says the specialist.