Risk Factors for Stroke
Risk of stroke varies among individuals. Your heredity and other factors beyond your control may put you at increased risk. These risks include:
- Age – while you can have a stroke at any age, your risk doubles each decade after age 55.
- Gender – while men and women both have strokes, men are 19 percent more likely to suffer a stroke.
- Race – while people of all races have strokes, African Americans have a higher risk, especially with associate high blood pressure.
- Prior stroke – once you have had a stroke, your future risk is increased.
- Heredity – if family members have had a stroke, your risk is higher.
Lifestyle Changes Can Reduce Risks
You can, however, make positive changes in your lifestyle that will significantly reduce your personal risk. The following is a list of factors that you, with your physician’s help, may be able to minimize.
- Control your blood pressure
Have your blood pressure checked often, and if it is elevated, follow your doctor’s advice on how to lower it.
- Stop smoking
Smoking is the biggest risk factor for vascular disease.
- Exercise regularly
Exercise helps control weight and may make the heart stronger and improve circulation. Just 30 minutes per day at least three days per week is a great start.
- Eat a healthy diet
Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and eat foods low in fat and cholesterol.
- Control diabetes
If untreated, diabetes can damage the blood vessels throughout the body.
|For More Information|
|Animation: Stroke Treatment|
|Ask the Expert about stroke|