Neurological Health

Stroke: Who Can Get It?

Written by Dr. Saumya Mittal and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.


Stroke, known as Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA) occurs due to poor blood flow to the brain, thereby causing improper functioning of that part of brain.

There are numerous risk factors for stroke. There are some very common medical conditions and habits that may predispose one to stroke, especially if the condition is uncontrolled. The people who have these risk factors are more commonly known to have stroke.

Some of these risk factors are preventable or controllable, others are something that one cannot do much about, accordingly called modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors.

The Risk Factors:

  • High blood pressure: The patients who are hypertensive are known to have stroke and cardiac diseases. The patients who are hypertensive should meet their physician regularly and take prescribed medications regularly to avoid the risk of stroke. Hypertension is a risk factor. Uncontrolled hypertension is a much more significant risk factor for stroke. Hence avoid skipping the antihypertensive medicines.
  • Heart disease: Patients with heart disease may develop stroke frequently. There are two reasons for this. First, they develop from the deposition of fat in the vessels (atherosclerosis). And the second one is that, occasionally clots may form, these clots may break and make their way to the brain to cause stroke (embolization). Many people develop atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat). This fibrillation may increase the risk of embolization.
  • Diabetes: Patients with diabetes are at high risk for both, cardiac diseases as well as stroke. Patients who have associated hypertension are at a higher risk. The risk is even higher if the conditions are uncontrolled.
  • Dyslipidemia: The exact risk is yet to be evaluated. However, higher levels of cholesterol are found in patients of stroke.
  • Obesity and Sedentary lifestyle: Both these factors lead to hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. Together, chances of risk are increased. Also, they are individual risk factors for stroke. Losing weight and following a moderate exercise can help reverse these risks.
  • Prior TIA or Mini-Stroke: TIA is Transient Ischemic Attack in which the blockage is temporary. The factors are the same. And if they persist, a second episode can occur.

The above are the medical conditions that are prevalent and common risk factors for stroke, those that can be controlled. The following are factors that can be prevented and avoided.

  • Smoking and Alcohol Abuse: Both the conditions predispose a person to atherosclerosis. Thereby they may predispose to stroke. They are, of course, individual risk factors too.
  • Abuse of Stimulant Drugs: Abuse of stimulant drugs such as amphetamines and cocaine.
  • Oral Contraceptive Pills.

The below are some conditions and risk factors, which are unavoidable and cannot be prevented:

  • Male gender: Men are usually more predisposed to stroke.
  • Elderly Age Group: The elderly are more affected by the condition.
  • Race: Certain races are more prone to stroke (For example: Africans are more prone to stroke).

Consult a neurologist online to rule out the risk factors for stroke -->

Last reviewed at: 06.Sep.2018



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