13. Smoking

Smoking

Smoking can contribute to aneurysms and therefore strokes, largely in part to the effect smoking has on one’s blood pressure. Smoking is also culpable in other ways; cigarettes have numerous carcinogens or substances that create or encourage cancer, in them. Cancerous growths can contribute to aneurysms as well. Aside from those, smoking generally contributes to poorer body health and quality of life. It is the leading cause of various lung diseases, including COPD. Because shortness of breath is one of its most significant symptoms, COPD can interfere with exercise, which is one of the most significant influences on keeping yourself healthy.

12. High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure

Because aneurysms essentially result from swelling blood vessels, it’s easy to see how high blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, can contribute to aneurysms. Naturally, then, it makes sense to lower blood pressure as much as possible. A diet high in fats and salts contributes to hypertension: fat may build up in the arteries, and salt may make them less flexible. These both force the heart to work harder moving blood through the body. Increasing water and potassium intake while decreasing sodium intake can help prevent hypertension. Regular exercise can play a part too, so be sure to stay active.

Related: 7 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

11. Genetics

Genetics

While you can quit smoking and take measures to cut down on your blood pressure (and you should do both), unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about the genetics you received. If your family history has many cases of aneurysms in it, then you can assume you are at greater risk of having one yourself. This is especially true if someone in your immediate family (parent, sibling) has experienced one. Other factors, like a history of high blood pressure, can likewise affect your odds. What’s important is avoiding stress, and speak to your medical professional about options you can take.

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