You can take steps right now to reduce your risk of stroke. Risk factors for stroke fall into three categories:
Lifestyle risks for stroke include poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking and excessive alcohol use. Each of these increase your risk of stroke, as well as a host of other medical complications. Lifestyle risks are largely within your control and offer your best opportunity to reduce the risk of stroke.
Several medical conditions are connected to increased stroke risk. High blood pressure is the number one cause of stroke, and increases your risk significantly. Other contributing conditions include atrial fibrillation, diabetes, high cholesterol and poor circulation. Learn to identify these medical risk factors and talk with your doctor about ways to treat them.
Some risk factors are beyond your control, including age, gender, and ethnicity. Women suffer from more strokes per year than men and African Americans are also at increased risk.