Other major risk factors for stroke are called "unmodifiable," because they are things that neither you nor your patients can do anything about. You need to know the "unmodifiable" risk factors, because they help you to define high-risk individuals and groups for whom treating or controlling the "modifiable" risk factors is a priority.

Populations at Special Risk

The risk of having a stroke increases with age, doubling every ten years after 55. The rate of death following a stroke also increases with age.



Overall, men and women have about the same number of strokes, but women tend to be older when they have a first stroke and are more likely to die. Before the age of 65, men have about a 20% higher risk of stroke.


African Americans have a 60% greater likelihood of having a stroke, suffer greater physical disability after a stroke and are nearly twice as likely to die from a stroke than any other groups in the US that have been studied.

An individual's risk may increase if a first-degree biological relative (parent or grandparent) or another maternal relative has had a stroke. Inherited defects in factors related to the clotting mechanism or metabolism can also increase risk.
or TIA

These are the most significant predictors, since both indicate the presence of significant vascular pathology.  One in six ischemic stroke survivors will have another stroke within two years.  A person who has had one or more TIAs is almost ten times more likely to have a stroke than someone of the same age and gender who has not had a TIA.