The risk factors for heart attack are the same risk factors that can cause stroke.
- High Blood Pressure is one of the most common causes of stroke. Lowering blood pressure can reduce the risk of stroke by 30-40%. High blood pressure is one of the most manageable stroke risk factors.
- High Cholesterol Know your cholesterol number, cholesterol levels of 240mg/dl or higher increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. The result of elevated cholesterol, triglycerides and /or high levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol contributes to the development of atherosclerosis and the risk of stroke.
- Smoking cigarettes is recognized as a major risk factor for stroke. Smokers have more than twice the risk of stroke than non-smokers.
- Having diabetes increases your risk of fatty plaque building up in your vessels. Diabetics are twice as likely to have high blood pressure and that increases the risk of stroke to four times those without diabetes.
- Age is a risk factor. While anybody at any age can have a stroke, your risk increases as you get older. However, keep in mind that nearly one-fourth of all strokes occur in people younger than age 65.
- Gender is also a risk factor since more men than women will have a stroke. But this one is a little misleading because while fewer women have strokes, women are more likely to die from stroke.
- Family history can play a role, including your race.
- If you’ve had a stroke in the past, you’re at higher risk for another one.
Take Control of Your Health
Whether you want to prevent a first stroke or you are already at a higher risk due to a previous stroke, you have some control over your own risk.
- To enhance your overall fitness or get support in adjusting your activity to accommodate lost function, learn more about discounted programs through Bellin Fitness.
- For help with improving your daily diet, consider nutritional counseling.
- For assistance in quitting tobacco, join one of Bellin’s highly successful Smoking Cessation programs.