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Risk Factors for Stroke

When considering the risk factors for Stroke there are a range of issues to consider, such as those that can't be changed and those which can (i.e. lifestyle).

There are many factors in a persons lifestyle that can be changed to improve their quality of life and reduce the risk of Stroke.  See the section on Lifestyle Changes and Reducing the Risk of Stroke for further info.


Modifiable risk factors - these are risk factors that can be changed including: 


• High Cholesterol

• High Blood Pressure

• Being Overweight

• Poor Diet

• Lack of Physical Activity

• Smoking

• Drinking alcohol

People are more at risk of having stroke if they smoke, have a fatty diet, drink excessive amounts of alcohol, are overweight and are not regularly physically active.


The risk of having a Stroke is probably partly genetic; stroke is more common in men than women. However, at older ages, more women have strokes, and at all ages more women will die. Overall the risk of having a stroke doubles for every decade over 55.


Non-modifiable risk factors - these are risk factors that can't be changed including:


• Family History, Age and Gender

• Diabetes

• Irregular Heart Beat (Atrial fibrillation)

• Ethnic group

• Previous stroke or TIA