Stroke doesn’t discriminate. It can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or ethnic background. Common risk factors include:
- Age – The risk of stroke doubles for each decade of life after 55.
- Family history – Your risk increases if a parent, sibling or grandparent had a stroke.
- Race – African-Americans are at higher risk of stroke than Caucasians.
- Gender – Stroke affects more men than women but more women than men die from brain attacks.
- Prior stroke, TIA or heart attack – The risk of stroke grows substantially if you have suffered any of these conditions.
Other risk factors include:
- High blood pressure
- Carotid or other artery disease
- Atrial fibrillation (specific irregular heart rhythm)
- Heart disease
- Sickle cell disease
- High blood cholesterol
- Poor diet
- Physical inactivity or excess weight
Stroke teams throughout Conemaugh Health System can help you identify your risk factors and teach you how to keep them under control. Our programs, including the Conemaugh Diabetes Institute, Weight Management Center or nutrition counseling, can get you the help you need.