Intense Exercise can Cause Stroke in Individuals with Blockage in Arteriesv

In Education

Often, people dismiss the warnings prior to workout classes advising them to seek a physician before engaging in intense physical activity. Why bother when it’s beneficial? Contrary to this, specific health conditions could pose a danger because of ignorance, like elevated heart rate. A team of researchers discovered that increased heart rate could lead to stroke in individuals with severely blocked arteries. This case is entirely different for persons with slight blockage, as it will enhance blood flow.

The carotid arteries

 Carotid arteries are crucial in supplying blood to the brain and facial tissues. Accumulation of cholesterol, fat, and various particles leads to plaque formation.  This inevitably makes the inner walls of the artery narrow. The narrowing is referred to as stenosis and is hard to detect in the initial stages. The brain gets limited blood flow when this happens. Restricting blood flow also means a lack of oxygen, leading to a stroke. Increased heart rate in healthy individuals increases the drag force exerted by blood on the inner walls. This action reduces the risk of stenosis occurring.  However, individuals who are already experiencing this are unlikely to benefit.

Findings of the study

The researchers relied on the specific computational model to replicate blood flow within carotid arteries. This was executed under three phases of stenosis. The phases were no blockage, lenient 30% blockage, and average 50% blockage. The team considered a heart rate that was exercise-induced and one that was resting. For no blockage and lenient blockage, the exercise demonstrated positive effects. However, moderate blockage raised concerns.

Somnath Roy, an author of the study, says patients with average to high stenosis will encounter specific effects if they engage in intense exercise. He explains that shear stress causes rapture of the stenosis. The plague accumulation then flows into the brain, causing ischemic stroke.

In addition, several factors influence stenosis and the risk of stroke, such as genetics and age. However, the authors emphasize monitoring arterial health, especially for individuals partaking in intense physical activity. A prescribed physical exercise regimen should be sought for individuals with a history of stenosis or strokes.

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