Stroke - Risk Factors

Do you have any risk factors for stroke? If so, what are they and what are your concerns?

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What are the risk factors for stroke?

Overall, the most common risk factors for stroke are:

  • high blood pressure,
  • high cholesterol,
  • smoking,
  • diabetes, and
  • increasing age.

Heart conditions like atrial fibrillation, patent foramen ovale, and heart valve disease can also be the potential cause of stroke.

When stroke occurs in younger individuals (less than 50 years old), less common risk factors to be considered include illicit drugs, such as cocaine or amphetamines, ruptured aneurysms, and inherited (genetic) predispositions to abnormal blood clotting.

An example of a genetic predisposition to stroke occurs in a rare condition called homocystinuria, in which there are excessive levels of the chemical homocystine in the body. Scientists are trying to determine whether the non-hereditary occurrence of high levels of homocystine at any age can predispose to stroke.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: frogette, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 14

I recently had a stroke. I am a smoker. I am about 10 pounds overweight, do not have high blood pressure, don't drink alcohol, don't have high cholesterol, or heart problems. I am blessed to have only minimal side effects: some minor drool, minor speech issues, but do have headaches daily.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: ikm, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: May 30

I suspect I might have had a stroke. I have had abnormal weakness and sensitivity in my right hand and leg. The more threatening thing is that I have sickle cell trait. I used to feel strong until I started engaging in physically demanding work. Also, I don't have health insurance and can't afford medical care.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

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