Risk Factors

Reducing your risk factors for heart attack also reduce your risk for stroke. Some risk factors for stroke are hereditary. Others occur with age, and still others result from lifestyle habits.

Risk factors that cannot be changed include:

  • Age
  • Heredity
  • Male gender
  • Race
  • Diabetes
  • Prior strokes

Major risk factors for stroke that may decrease with treatment or lifestyle changes:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Transient ischemic attacks (TIA or mini-strokes)
  • Smoking
  • High red blood cell count

Other controllable risk factors that indirectly increase stroke risk:

  • Physical inactivity
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Obesity

Control your blood pressure and blood glucose or blood sugar levels,  maintain a healthy weight with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 25;, eat healthy, stay away from foods high in fats and salt, exercise regularly, if you smoke stop and if your do not smoke so not start.  If you consume alcohol remember the acceptable amount is the equivalence of one drink for a woman and no more than two for a man.  A drink is considered as a four ounce glass of red wine, or one and a half ounces of an 80 proof alcohol or one ounce of a 100 proof alcohol.