Risk Factors of Stroke

Several factors may increase your risk for stroke. Know these factors and take the steps necessary to decrease your risk.

  • High Blood Pressure: It's the #1 cause of stroke. Regularly monitor your blood pressure and always take prescribed medication.
  • Diabetes: Control your diabetes with proper diet, exercise and medication.
  • Obesity: Being just 20 pounds overweight significantly increases your risk of a stroke or heart disease.
  • Smoking: Smoking increases your risk of stroke by two to three times.
  • Mini-strokes (TIAs or transient ischemic attacks): When stroke symptoms such as confusion, slurred speech or loss of balance appear and disappear, call 9-1-1. You may be able to prevent a major stroke.

Determining Your Risk for Stroke

1 Have either of your parents, grandparents, or any one of your siblings or cousins had a stroke? Yes No
2 Are you 65 or older? Yes No
3 Do you have diabetes? Yes No
4 Do you have more than 6 alcoholic drinks a week? Yes No
5 Do you have high blood pressure? Yes No
6 Do you smoke? Yes No
7 Do you have high cholesterol? Yes No
8 Do you exercise fewer than 3 times a week? Yes No
9 Are you more than 20% over your ideal weight? Yes No
10 Have you experienced dizziness or blurred vision? Yes No

If you answered "yes" to more than one question, then your risk for a stroke is increased.

Reduce your risk for stroke

Your risk for stroke may be reduced through:

  • Diet
  • Cessation of smoking
  • Reduced alcohol intake
  • Increased exercise
  • Regular visits to your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.