Bon Secours Richmond Neurology

Are you at risk?

Before a stroke strikes, become familiar with the factors that may put you at a higher risk for stroke. There are a number of risks such as smoking that can be managed by altering lifestyle habits and others that cannot.

Risk factors may include:

  • Medical history
  • Genetic makeup
  • Lifestyle habits
  • Aspects of the environment

The following are risk factors you cannot change, but should be aware of:

Age

For every 10 years you live past the age of 60, your risk of having a stroke increases.

Gender

Stroke is the third leading cause of death for women and the fifth leading cause of death for men. More women die from stroke than breast cancer every year.

Race

African Americans have two to three times more risk of stroke than other races. Hispanics and Asians have the greatest risk for stroke from burst blood vessels. This type of stroke is called hemorrhagic (hem-er-RAJ-ik).

Past Stroke or TIA

If you’ve already had a stroke or mini-stroke (TIA), your risk for stroke is now greater. TIA stands for transient (TRANS-E-ent) ischemic (iss-KEY-mik) attack. TIAs do not cause lasting damage; however, they are a warning sign that a more serious stroke may occur. It is important to correct as many risk factors as possible to prevent further TIAs or stroke.

Family History

Your risk for stroke is greater when heart attack, stroke or TIA runs in your family. The same risk factors that may have caused the stroke in a relative may be genetic or inherited, such as high blood pressure.

How to recognize a stroke

Be Fast
  • B
    Balance
  • E
    Eyes
  • F
    Face
    drooping
  • A
    Arm
    weakness
  • S
    Speech
    difficulty
  • T
    Time to
    call 911