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What Increases Your Risk

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:

Recommended Related to Stroke

After a Stroke: Medications to Reduce Arm Spasticity

When it comes to stroke rehabilitation, one medication doesn’t fit all. Your stroke rehab team will work with you to find out which medications, if any, can improve stiffness after a stroke. It's important to remember these medications are not a cure. They are ongoing treatments that relieve the symptoms of spasticity. "There are no medications that have been well proven -- in large, well-designed clinical trials -- to directly help with motor rehabilitation beyond their effect on spasticity," says...

Read the After a Stroke: Medications to Reduce Arm Spasticity article > >

  • 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 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.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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