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.
- High cholesterol.
- Heavy use of alcohol.
- Being overweight.
- Physical inactivity.
Risk factors you cannot change include:
- 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.