Reducing your risk factors for heart attack also reduce your risk for stroke. Some risk factors for strokes are hereditary. Others occur with age, and still others result from lifestyle habits.
Risk factors that cannot be changed include:
- Male gender.
- Prior strokes.
Major risk factors for stroke that may decrease with treatment or lifestyle changes:
- High blood pressure.
- Heart disease.
- Transient ischemic attacks (TIA or mini-strokes).
- High red blood cell count.
Other controllable risk factors that indirectly increase stroke risk:
- Physical inactivity.
- Elevated cholesterol.
- Excessive alcohol intake.