High blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high
cholesterol, the use of oral contraceptives, cigarette smoking,
lack of exercise, excessive alcohol use, previous transient
ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke, and a high homocysteine (a
type of blood protein) level are risk factors that may be
controllable or medically managed.
Risk factors that a person cannot change include age (for
each decade of life after age 55, the chance of having a stroke
more than doubles); race (African Americans have a much higher
risk of death and disability from a stroke than Caucasians);
and heredity/genetics (the chance of stroke is greater in
people who have a family history of stroke).