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Stroke Risk Factors Include Lifestyle Choices and Genetic Influences

Doctor discussing results with a patient Stroke risk factors include anything that might elevate someone’s chances of experiencing a stroke or brain attack. These factors include both controllable and uncontrollable variables. Most risk factors are directly correlated to the health of the arteries in the body, especially in the case of ischemic strokes, which are caused by the formation of blood clots due to fat buildup in the arteries.

Some stroke risk factors that can be controlled include:

  • Being overweight
  • Having high cholesterol numbers
  • Not participating in regular physical activity
  • Smoking
  • Consuming excessive alcohol
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having carotid and/or coronary artery disease
  • Atrial fibrillation

Other stroke risk factors include:

  • Age – People over the age of 65 are far more likely to experience a stroke.
  • Gender – Strokes occur more frequently among men, but women tend to die from strokes more often. This may potentially be attributed to certain risk factors that uniquely affect women (such as taking birth control pills or being pregnant) and to the fact that women often experience symptoms that aren’t typically recognized as signs of stroke (such as fainting, feeling short of breath, experiencing hallucinations, or even having hiccups).
  • Race or ethnicity – African Americans, Latinos, and American Indians are at a greater risk for stroke than Asians and non-Hispanic Caucasians.
  • Family history of stroke

Whatever a stroke survivor’s particular risk factors may be, they can always rely on Tampa General Hospital in their time of need. With a dedicated stroke staff on call 24/7, extensive technological resources, and a large neuroscience intensive care unit, we have everything necessary to provide quick and accurate diagnoses, emergency treatments, surgical interventions, and rehabilitation assistance. We are a state-designated comprehensive stroke center and the first hospital on Florida’s west coast to earn national certification by the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program, making us a leading choice for all stroke treatment needs.

If you think that you or someone you know is experiencing a stroke - call 9-1-1 immediately - ask to be taken to the nearest comprehensive stroke center.

Don’t take any chances: time lost is brain lost, so the less time you wait, the more likely recovery is possible.