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Understanding Stroke Risk Factors

Knowing the risk factors for stroke and working with your primary health care team to lower your risk can reduce your chance of having a stroke.

If a stroke happens, rapid treatment will give you the best opportunity for a full recovery. Knowing the warning signs for stroke and what to do if they occur can save you or a loved one’s life.

Stroke Risk Factors

Anyone – males, females, people of all ages and races – can have a stroke; however, certain risk factors can increase your stroke risk. By living a healthier lifestyle and being proactive you can reduce your chance of having a stroke risk. 

These risk factors can be controlled with medication or healthy lifestyle changes: 

• Alcohol use
• Atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat)
• Circulation problems
• Diabetes
• High blood pressure
• High cholesterol
• Lack of exercise
• Obesity
• Smoking and tobacco use 

These risk factors cannot be controlled: 

• Age (people over age 55 are at a higher risk)
• Family history
• Fibromuscular dysplasia
• Gender (females are at a higher risk)
• Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO, or hole in the heart)
• Previous stroke history
• Race (African Americans, Asians / Pacific Islanders and Hispanics are at higher risk) 

If you have several of these risk factors, talk with your primary care doctor about how to manage your stroke risk.

For more information about stroke care at Phoebe, call 229-312-5273.