Stroke Risk Factors

High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for strokes. The following also increase your risk for stroke:

  • Diabetes
  • Family history of stroke
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Increasing age

Certain medications make blood clots more likely, and therefore your chances for a stroke. Birth control pills can increase the chances of blood clots, especially in woman who smoke and who are older than 35.

During middle age, men have more strokes than women.The gender ratio reverses for people 85 and older. Women, then, have a greater lifetime risk of stroke.

Hemorrhagic Stroke Risks

The following can increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke (stroke caused by bleeding in the brain):

  • Alcohol use
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Cocaine use

Preventing Stroke

To help prevent a stroke:

  • Avoid fatty foods. Follow a healthy, low-fat diet.
  • Do not drink more than 1 to 2 alcoholic drinks a day.
  • Exercise regularly: 30 minutes a day if you are not overweight; 60 - 90 minutes a day if you are overweight.
  • Get your blood pressure checked every 1 - 2 years, especially if high blood pressure runs in your family.
  • Have your cholesterol checked. If you are at high risk for stroke, your LDL "bad" cholesterol should be lower than 100 mg/dL. Your doctor may recommend that you try to reduce your LDL cholesterol to 70 mg/dL.
  • Follow your doctor's treatment recommendations if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
  • Quit smoking.

 

 

 

  • Face

    Does the face look uneven or drift down?

  • Arm

    Does one arm drift down?

  • Speech

    Does the person's speech sound strange?

  • Time

    If you observe any of these signs, it is time
    to call 9-1-1. 

The faster a stroke patient receives treatment, the better the chances of recovery.

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