Stroke | Causes & Risk Factors


What are the risk factors for stroke?

Some risk factors for stroke can be changed, treated, or controlled. High blood pressure is the biggest risk factor for stroke that you can control. Others include the following:

  • Smoking
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • High cholesterol level

Some risk factors for stroke can’t be changed. Your risk of having a stroke is higher if you:

  • Are older than 55 years
  • Have a family history of stroke
  • Are black
  • Are female
  • Have had a previous stroke or transient ischemic attack

After I have had a stroke, am I more likely to have another one?

Yes. People who have had a stroke are more likely to have another stroke. The risk is especially high during the year after your first stroke.

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 01/15
Created: 09/00