Risk factors of Stroke

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Older man with cane

Age. The most important risk factor is age, but stroke should not be considered a condition that occurs exclusively in the elderly. Over the age of 55, each decade that passes doubles the risk of a stroke.

Increased blood pressure

High blood pressure. Ppredisposes both infarctions and brain haemorrhages.

Glucometer and a hand with a finger in which the lancet has been inserted to measure diabetes levels.

Diabetes. Increases the risk of stroke by 1.8- to 6-fold, especially if the patient also has high blood pressure.

A person lying on a sofa or bed representing sedentary lifestyles.

A sedentary lifestyle. Can lead to stroke.

Scale with an arrow pointing upwards indicating a weight increase

Obesity. Especially in the abdominal area, increases the risk of stroke in both men and women.


Smoking. Increases the risk of infarction and brain haemorrhage. Having quit smoking for at least five years, this risk will decrease.

A blood vessel with cholesterol in its walls that restricts blood flow.

High cholesterol. Hypercholesterolemia significantly increases the chance of suffering an ischaemic stroke.

Cannabis, pills and a syringe

Drug and alcohol consumption. Is associated with an increased risk of infarction and brain haemorrhage.

Man and woman

Gender. Men are at a greater risk of suffering a stroke than women. However this relationship is reversed in people aged 80 and over because of the longer life expectancy of women.

World globe

Some population groups. Such as African Americans and Hispanics, can present a greater risk of stroke. There are clear indications of an increased risk of stroke in groups living in adverse socio-economic conditions.

DNA molecule or helix

Family history. The risk of suffering a stroke is greater.

Substantiated information by:

Antonia Fernández
Arturo Renú Jornet
Xabier Urra Nuin
Ángel Chamorro Sanchez

Published: 20 February 2018
Updated: 27 December 2022

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