There are many factors that go into whether or not you will have a stroke. The following list of risk factors, increased risk factors, and additional risk factors comes directly from the CDC (the Center for Disease Control).
- Race/ethnicity. African Americans have almost two times the risk of white people of having a first stroke. Hispanic Americans and American Indian/Alaska Natives are at greater risk than whites are for having a stroke but are at less risk than African Americans. African Americans and Hispanics are more likely than whites to die after having a stroke.
- Age. Stroke risk increases with age. Three-quarters of strokes occur in people ages 65 and older.
- Geography. The highest U.S. death rates from stroke occur in the southeastern United States.
- Gender. Men are more likely than women to have a stroke.
Certain lifestyle factors and conditions also increase the risk for stroke. The most important of these include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease (such as atrial fibrillation)
- Previous stroke or transient ischemic attack
- Cigarette smoking
Additional risk factors include:
- Physical inactivity
- Overweight or obesity
- High cholesterol
- Sickle cell disease
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Family history of stroke
- Drug abuse
- Genetic conditions, such as blood-clotting or vascular disorders (for example, Factor V Leiden or CADASIL)
- Certain medications (such as hormonal birth control pills)
- Being pregnant
Lesser risk factors include:
- Head and neck injuries
- Recent viral or bacterial infections