The Causes of Apoplexy

Apoplexy occurs more often in males than in females. With respect to age, the disease is rare before twenty-two years, and increases in frequency with the increase of age from twenty-two years upward. It occurs most often during the cold season of the year, and according to the observations of Sarmani the hours from three to five o'clock in the afternoon, and two to four in the morning, are those in which the greatest number of cases occur. A very important predisposing cause of the disease is a weakening of the arteries of the brain. This is very likely to take place in old age. It is also a very frequent result of the use of alcoholic liquors. The tendency to this disease seems also to be hereditary, although the idea which once prevailed that persons with large heads, short thick necks, prominent abdomens, and a tendency, to accumulate flesh, are particularly liable to this affection, is erroneous since careful observations show that persons quite the opposite in the particulars mentioned are equally liable. Among the exciting causes may be mentioned, the use of opium, alcoholic liquors, and other stimulants and narcotics; overeating, and the use of stimulating and indigestible food; excessive joy, rage, terror, and other strong mental emotions; great physical exertion; straining at stool induced by constipation; sexual excesses, especially in persons over fifty; tight clothing about the neck; tight-lacing; severe vomiting; hard coughing or sneezing; immoderate laughter; exposure to great heat; prolonged hot baths; cold bathing and heart disease.