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Disease Information : Stroke : Risk Factors

Stroke : Risk Factors

Risk Factors for Stroke?

High blood pressure is one of the key risk factors for stroke because it puts stress on blood vessel walls. Some other risk factors include age, smoking, diabetes, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), heart disease, family history of heart disease or stroke, a TIA (mini-stroke), high cholesterol and atrial fibrillation (irregular heart rhythm). African-Americans and Hispanics appear to have a higher stroke risk than Caucasians. Cocaine and heavy alcohol use also increase the risk of having a stroke. 

Individuals with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) have been shown to have a higher incidence of stroke. Atherosclerosis in the arteries can speed the clotting process that can lead to stroke. The two diseases also share multiple common risk factors such as high blood pressure.


Stroke section was last modified: April 25, 2008 - 05:02 pm