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Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) - What Increases Your Risk

The risk factors (things that increase risk) for transient ischemic attack (TIA) and stroke include those you can treat or change and those you can't change.

Risk factors you can treat or change include:

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You should consider these symptoms warning signs and consult your health care provider: Sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arm, or leg on one side of the body. Abrupt loss of vision, strength, coordination, sensation, speech, or the ability to understand speech. These symptoms may become worse over time. Sudden dimness of vision, especially in one eye. Sudden loss of balance, possibly accompanied by vomiting, nausea, fever, hiccups, or trouble with swallowing. Sudden and severe...

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  • 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 TIA and 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.1
  • Family history. The risk for TIA and stroke is greater if a parent, brother, or sister has had a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA).
  • History of stroke or TIA.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 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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