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Stroke Risk Factors

Anyone can have a stroke no matter your age, race or gender. But, the chances of having a stroke increase if a person has certain risk factors, or criteria that can cause a stroke. The good news is that up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented, and the best way to protect yourself and loved ones from stroke is to understand personal risk and how to manage it. Learn interactively about more than 20 leading risk factors for stroke through the interactive risk factor tool.

There are 2 types of risk factors for stroke: controllable and uncontrollableControllable risk factors generally fall into two categories: lifestyle risk factors or medical risk factors. Lifestyle risk factors can often be changed, while medical risk factors can usually be treated. Both types can be managed best by working with a doctor, who can prescribe medications and advise on how to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Uncontrollable risk factors include being over age 55, being male, being African American, Hispanic or Asian/Pacific Islander, or having a family history of stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).

Controllable Risk Factors:


Uncontrollable Risk Factors:

Controllable Medical
Risk Factors

Controllable Lifestyle
Risk Factors

High Blood Pressure

Atrial Fibrillation

High Cholesterol



Circulation Problems
Tobacco Use and Smoking

Alcohol Use

Physical Inactivity

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To become more familiar with your personal risk for stroke, National Stroke Association developed an easy-to-use tool called a Stroke Risk Scorecard. The Scorecard provides an idea of a person's stroke risk. Once the scorecard is completed, discuss the results with a doctor, who will help assess the risk factors and help manage and/or treat any controllable risk factors. Remember: It is important to always take medications as a doctor prescribes to stay on top of stroke prevention.

Stroke Risk Scorecard Link

Click to download risk scorecard.

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