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Stroke Care

Stroke Risk Factors

Stroke Center


Stroke Risk Factors

The carotid arteries are large blood vessels that carry blood to the brain. The brain gets all of the nutrients and oxygen it needs to function well in order for these arteries to be healthy. However, if these arteries are damaged, it can greatly increase your risk of stroke.

Risk factors are certain lifestyle and health issues that increase your chances of having a stroke. Because stroke is common within our community, it is important that you are aware of these factors so that you know if you are at risk. High blood pressure is the leading risk factor, but there are many other factors that also put you at risk for stroke.

Identify Your Risk Factors
Read the risk factors below to identify which ones you have. Remember, risk factors are different for each person. Also, note that some factors, such as your age, cannot be change, but others can be managed. Talk with your healthcare provider about ways to make healthy changes to help reduce your risk factors.

Health Risk Factors:

  • You’re overweight
  • You have diabetes (online classes , Diabetes.org)
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You’ve had a heart attack
  • You have atrial fibrillation
  • You have unhealthy cholesterol levels
  • You have narrowed arteries

Lifestyle Risk Factors:

  • You smoke
  • You often eat salty, fried, or greasy foods
  • You rarely exercise
  • You have more than two alcoholic drinks per day

Age and Family History:

  • You are over 60 years old
  • A parent, sister or brother has had a stroke

Metabolic Syndrome: If you have any of the factors above you, then you are put at increased risk of stroke. But if you have three or more of certain risk factors, also known as a condition called metabolic syndrome, then your risk is multiplied. Please be sure to talk to your healthcare provider if you have any of the following risk factors:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Too much weight around your waist
  • Unhealthy cholesterol levels

 

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