Stroke Risk Factors

What increases my risk for a stroke?

A Answers (5)

  • A doctor can often diagnose a stroke by observing a person's symptoms. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or a CT scan (computed tomography) can help identify the type and severity of the stroke as well. Low blood sugar levels can cause similar symptoms to a stroke, so doctors may check for this, too.
  • ASergio Gonzalez-Arias, MD, Neurosurgery, answered on behalf of Baptist Health South Florida

    There are many risk factors for stroke that you can control. Those include: high blood pressure (hypertension); atrial fibrillation; diabetes; smoking; high cholesterol; excessive use of alcohol; being overweight; and physical inactivity.

    Risk factors that you cannot change include age, race, gender and family history.

    The risk of stroke increases with age. Some ethnic groups are found to have a higher risk for stroke, including African Americans and Native Americans. Stroke is more common in men, at least until the age of 75. Over the age of 75, more women have strokes than men.

  • AHealthwise answered

    A risk factor is anything that makes you more likely to have a particular health problem.

    Risk factors for stroke that you can treat or change include:

    • High blood pressure (hypertension).
    • Atrial fibrillation.
    • Diabetes.
    • Smoking.
    • High cholesterol.
    • Heavy use of alcohol.
    • Being overweight.
    • Physical inactivity.

    Risk factors you cannot change include:

    • Age. The risk of stroke increases with age.
    • Race. African Americans, Native Americans and Alaskan Natives have a higher risk than those of other races.
    • Gender. Women have a higher risk of having a stroke in their lifetime compared to men. In people ages 55 to 75, about 2 out of 10 women will have a stroke and 1 or 2 out of 10 men will have a stroke.
    • Family history. The risk for stroke is greater if a parent, brother or sister has had a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).
    • History of stroke or TIA.

    © Healthwise, Incorporated.

  • Some medical conditions that increase the risk for stroke are heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and high blood cholesterol levels.

    Some lifestyle choices also influence the risk of stroke, such as smoking, illegal drug use, inactive lifestyle, lack of exercise and obesity.

  • ACarolyn D. Brockington, MD, Neurology, answered
    What increases my risk for a stroke?

    Risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, heart disease and being inactive/overweight. Watch neurologist Carolyn Brockington, MD, explain these factors and why it's key to talk to your doctor about your individual risks.

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What are the risk factors of stroke I can't control?