What is your risk?

Although risk increases with age, data indicates that 28 percent of people who suffer a stroke in a given year are under age 65. And although more men than women have strokes, women are more likely to die. It’s the leading cause of major disability in the U.S. and the third most common cause of death.

The best way to prevent a stroke is to reduce your controllable or treatable risk factors:

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disorder
  • Transient ischemic attacks, or TIAs, also called “mini-strokes;” they are warning signs that produce stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage
  • High blood cholesterol and high triglycerides
  • Lack of physical activity and obesity
  • Excessive alcohol (more than one a day for women, more than two a day for men)
  • Illegal drugs, notably intravenous drug use and cocaine

Other risk factors, including advanced age, gender and family history, are not modifiable.

For more information about stroke, call the National Stroke Association 1.800.787.6537, the American Stroke Association 1.800.553.6321 or the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at www.ninds.nih.gov.