Top Risk Factors of Stroke Identified: High Blood Pressure and Smoking Tops the List

Recent studies have reported that 90% of people either have high blood pressure or smoking habit who suffer from stroke. High blood pressure was the leading risk factor for all types of stroke, the study shows.

The new study compared risk factors among 3,000 people who had a stroke to those of 3,000 age- and sex-matched individuals who did not have a stroke. Study participants came from 22 countries.

The 10 risk factors that account for 90% of stroke risk are:

  • History of high blood pressure
  • Current Smoking
  • Abdominal obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Poor diet
  • More than 30 drinks per month or binge drinking
  • Ratio of blood fats known as apolipoprotein B (apo B) to apolipoprotein AI (apo AI)
  • Heart disease
  • Psychosocial stress/depression

While all of these risk factors were associated with an increased risk for ischemic stroke, just high blood pressure, smoking, abdominal obesity and diet increased the risk of hemorrhagic stroke, the study shows. Nine of these risk factors were also associated with heart attack in a related study on heart risks.

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