Subscribe to heart health and stroke email updates.
Stroke risk factors you can't control
- Previous stroke
- Stroke family history
- More information on stroke risk factors you can't control
You can't control these risk factors. But knowing what they are can help you understand your overall risk for stroke.
Having already had a stroke is the biggest risk factor for having another stroke.
For every decade after the age of 55, your stroke risk doubles.
If you consider all ages, men are more likely to have strokes than women. But between the ages of 45 and 64, women are more likely to have strokes than men. This is probably because blood pressure and cholesterol (koh-LESS-tur-ol) levels rise more quickly in women than men during this period.
Your risk of stroke increases after menopause.
If stroke runs in your family, it may be because your family carries genes that increase your risk. An example would be a gene that makes your blood more likely to clot. Or it could be due to your family's lifestyle, such as a history of eating foods high in saturated fats.
Read more from womenshealth.gov
Stroke Fact Sheet — This fact sheet answers questions about stroke, including information about warning signs, effects, and risk factors.
Explore other publications and websites
African Americans and Stroke (Copyright © National Stroke Association) — African-Americans have a higher risk of stroke than whites. The reasons for this are not entirely clear. However, researchers have identified some of the things that place African-Americans at greater risk. This publication discusses these risk factors and the importance of making changes to reduce or eliminate these factors.
Stroke Risk Factors (Copyright © American Heart Association) — This fact sheet describes the risk factors for stroke. It describes which risk factors can be changed and which ones cannot.
Connect with other organizations
American Stroke Association
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH, HHS
National Stroke Association
Content last updated February 1, 2009.
Resources last updated February 1, 2009.
A federal government website managed by the Office on Women's Health in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
200 Independence Avenue, S.W. • Washington, DC 20201