There are a number of risk factors for stroke:
- Age - Incidence of stroke rises sharply after age 65.
- Race - African Americans have a higher incidence of stroke.
- Gender - Males have a higher incidence of stroke overall.
- Hypertension or high blood pressure (diastolic blood pressure > 90).
- Family history
- Prior stroke or TIA.
- Asumptomatic carotid bruit - narrowing of the artery carrying blood to the brain.
Preventing a stroke
Stroke is a symptom of vascular disease. Most, though certainly not all strokes are a build up of damaging plaque in the blood vessels. You can take steps to reduce the build up of plaque, including:
- If you are diabetic, control blood glucose levels.
- If you suffer from high blood pressure, treating the high blood pressure.
- If you smoke, quit.
- If you suffer high cholesterol levels, lower those levels.
- If you are overweight, lose weight