Risk factors and prevention

Lower your risk of stroke

Nearly 80 percent of strokes are preventable. You can lower your risk of stroke by learning your risk factors and making simple lifestyle changes.

Simple steps to reduce your risk:

  • Don't smoke.
  • Have your blood pressure checked regularly and work with your doctor to control it if it is too high. High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for stroke that you can change.
  • Maintain a healthy weight by improving your eating habits and being more physically active.
  • Have regular medical checkups.
  • If you are on medicine to control high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, take it exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

Stroke risk factors

Knowing and controlling your risk factors can help you prevent a stroke. Check all factors listed below that apply to you. If you check two or more, please see a doctor to determine what you can do to lower your risk for stroke.

The UK Stroke Program screens hundreds of individuals each year. If you are planning a community event and would like to offer a stroke risk screening, please complete the request form and email it to Crystal Vires-Smith.


  •  Are you a man older than age 45?
  •  Are you a woman older than age 55?

Family history

  •  Did your father or brother have a heart attack before age 55?
  •  Did your mother or sister have a heart attack before age 65?

Medical history

  •  Have you had a heart attack, or do you have coronary artery disease?
  •  Have you had a stroke?
  •  Do you have an abnormal heartbeat?


  •  Do you smoke, or do you live or work with people who smoke daily?


  •  Is your total cholesterol level 240 or higher?
  •  Is your good (HDL) cholesterol less than 40 if you're a man or less than 50 is you're a woman?
  •  You do not know your total cholesterol or HDL levels

Blood pressure

  •  Is your blood pressure 140/90 or higher?
  •  Have you been told your blood pressure is too high?
  •  You do not know what your blood pressure is

Physical inactivity

  •  Do you spend less than 30 minutes engaging in physical activity on most days of the week?
Page last updated: 4/29/2016 5:53:48 PM