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Salt, alcohol, stress, and other reasons stroke is becoming more among the youth – Dietician reveals



Dietician, Andy Kpabi at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, has said the prevalence of stroke cases among youth are as a result of poorly managed lifestyles.

According to him, the disease has become common in persons under fourty and most are people with a higher chance of having unmanaged hypertension or diabetes.

In a phone interview with GhanaWeb, Doctor Kpabi listed stress, alcohol, excessive salt intake, skipping meals etc, as lifestyles that contribute to the growing rate of stroke in the youth in Ghana.


Due to stress, he added that, people tend to go without feeding the body with food to keep it running.

“One thing I will add too in a way is the stress level. People are so stressed that they don’t take time to take care of their bodies. Some people say, I am busy so they will not eat, when I am ready that is when I will eat. When you do that to your body, you stress your body. It is easy for your body to handle stress when it has been well fed just like a worker can work when he’s paid. It’s the same way the body, for it to work well it needs food,” he said.


Doctor Andy mentioned alcohol as one of the biggest causes of stroke and especially in the youth who have glorified it and sometimes use it as sexual enhancers.

“One of the things like alcohol intake. You know in Ghana; we glorify alcohol so much. Like it does so many wonders, but which are not backed by science. They will say, alcohol for manpower, alcohol for this and that but there is no scientific evidence that prove those claims, they are just marketing strategies.

Excessive salt intake:

The growing preference for take out foods and excessive use of seasoning cubes, etc, according to the dietician, also contributes as a risk factor to getting stroke.

“Also, salt intake, it’s been shown to be one of the things that can make your blood pressure go up. Some people when they prepare their food, they will want to add extra salt because it’s not tasting well enough. That’s a bad habit. Others will add seasoning cubes which are not bad. But they contain a lot of salt, so when you happen to add too much to your food, then you begin to get so much salt in your system. Also eating out. When you eat out, you don’t know what they put into the food, you just want to enjoy the food. Most of the time they put a lot of salt in the food. If you try to make it your habit, you are at risk of having hypertension which if not controlled, can lead to a stroke.

Junk food:

In addition, Dr Andy cautioned that excessive junk food intake increases the chances of getting high blood cholesterol which is a contributing factor of stroke.

“Eating a lot of fatty food. No one says oil is bad, it is good but when it becomes too much, it becomes a problem. Food, depending on how is, can be healthy or not. But adding too many fried foods to your meal can increase your chance, thereby increasing your blood cholesterol which can predispose you to stroke, he added”.

Dr Andy Kpabi also noted that the listed lifestyles among the youth give way to hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol which later results in stroke. However, early detection and management can reduce the rising cases of stroke.

“As I said, stroke is no more a condition for grownups. So, you can’t wait till you are 50 years before you start looking at all these things. The primary thing is that you must go for regular check-ups. At least know your blood pressure. At least a month, or two months, you must check your blood pressure and your blood sugar. You go and do some lab work to see whether everything is normal. If you have a family history, so it means there is somebody in your family who has it. You need to be doing some of these tests more, so you don’t fall victim to some of these things. These are risk factors that can be passed on because the thing that triggered their condition is likely to be the same things that will trigger your condition. So, you need to be doing tests to be aware of some of these things” he added.




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