Heart &

Stroke Risk Factors

Studies show that a healthy lifestyle and diet along with appropriate preventive care can reduce the risk of stroke. By modifying certain behaviors and getting treatment for risky medical conditions, we you can prevent or control many of the conditions that lead to a stroke.

  • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Affecting nearly 50 million Americans, it is the single most important controllable stroke risk factor. Having high blood pressure makes your four to six times more likely to have a stroke.
  • High Cholesterol: It can indirectly increase your stroke risk by clogging blood vessels and by putting you at a greater risk of for heart disease, another important stroke risk factor.
  • Heart Disease: Having heart disease makes you up to six times more likely to have a stroke. Heart disease is usually linked to the build-up of deposits on heart blood vessel walls or to high blood pressure.
  • Atrial Fibrillation (AFib): This is an irregular heart rhythm affecting two million Americans. AFib raises your stroke risk because it allows blood to pool in your heart, where it can form stroke-producing clots.
  • Age: Your chances of having a stroke increase as you age. Two-thirds of all strokes happen to people over age 65.
  • Gender: Men have a slightly higher stroke risk than women.
  • Race: African-Americans and those of Hispanic descent have a slightly higher stroke risk than most other racial groups.
  • Family History: Risk is higher for people with a family history of stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA).
  • Diabetes: People with diabetes have a higher stroke risk.