Risk Factors of Stroke
Several factors may increase your risk for stroke. Know these factors and take the steps necessary to decrease your risk.
- High Blood Pressure: It's the #1 cause of stroke. Regularly monitor your blood pressure and always take prescribed medication.
- Diabetes: Control your diabetes with proper diet, exercise and medication.
- Obesity: Being just 20 pounds overweight significantly increases your risk of a stroke or heart disease.
- Smoking: Smoking increases your risk of stroke by two to three times.
- Mini-strokes (TIAs or transient ischemic attacks): When stroke symptoms such as confusion, slurred speech or loss of balance appear and disappear, call 9-1-1. You may be able to prevent a major stroke.
Determining Your Risk for Stroke
|1||Have either of your parents, grandparents, or any one of your siblings or cousins had a stroke?||Yes||No|
|2||Are you 65 or older?||Yes||No|
|3||Do you have diabetes?||Yes||No|
|4||Do you have more than 6 alcoholic drinks a week?||Yes||No|
|5||Do you have high blood pressure?||Yes||No|
|6||Do you smoke?||Yes||No|
|7||Do you have high cholesterol?||Yes||No|
|8||Do you exercise fewer than 3 times a week?||Yes||No|
|9||Are you more than 20% over your ideal weight?||Yes||No|
|10||Have you experienced dizziness or blurred vision?||Yes||No|
If you answered "yes" to more than one question, then your risk for a stroke is increased.
Reduce your risk for stroke
Your risk for stroke may be reduced through:
- Cessation of smoking
- Reduced alcohol intake
- Increased exercise
- Regular visits to your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.