Stroke: Controlling Risk Factors

Taking care of your health and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and habits will lower your risk of a stroke and possibly keep the condition at bay.


Stroke Risk Factors

After having a stroke or a transient ischaemic stroke (TIA), your risk of having another stroke or TIA becomes higher.

About four in 10 people who have had a stroke will suffer another stroke within the next 10 years. Poor control of stroke factors that put you at higher risk may further increase your chance of having another stroke.

It is important to control your risk of the first and subsequent strokes by:
  • Knowing what your stroke risk factors are
  • Controlling these stroke risk factors

What are the Risk Factors for Stroke? How can I Control my Risk Factors?

There are risk factors that you can control. These include:

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) 


1. High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

  • The most important known risk factor for stroke.

  • Uncontrolled hypertension increases the risk of stroke by four times.

High Cholesterol (Hyperlipidemia) 


2. High Cholesterol (Hyperlipidemia)

  • The main cause of high cholesterol is having a diet high in saturated fats (fats from animal foods).
  • High cholesterol has about two times the risk of heart disease, a contributor to stroke risk.



3. Diabetes

  • Uncontrolled diabetes over a long period of time can cause damage to your blood vessels and nerves. The risk of stroke is 1.5 times more in diabetic patients.

Related: Diabetes Hub



4. Smoking

  • It can increase your risk of stroke by 1.5 to 2.5 times. Your risk of stroke will be equivalent to that of a non-smoker after five years of quitting.

Related: Go smoke-free with I Quit 28-Day Countdown Programme

Irregular Heart Beat (Atrial Fibrillation) 


5. Irregular Heartbeat (Atrial Fibrillation or AF)

  • As a result of irregular heartbeat, the heart does not pump and empty the blood smoothly or completely. This increases the risk of clots forming in the heart and travelling to the brain.

  • AF increases the risk of stroke by five times.

Unhealthy Lifestyle 


6. Unhealthy Lifestyle

Being inactive, having an unhealthy diet, obesity and excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and further strokes.

How to Reduce Risk of Stroke:

More on Stroke Risk Factors and Control

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Stroke: Controlling Risk Factors

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