Your family tree
The stroke risk: If your father, mother, brother or sister already has had a stroke, your risk of stroke is one-third higher.
In some cases, the risk lies in a genetic disorder that can lead to stroke. Sickle cell disease is one example. A gene mutation called CADASIL (cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with sub-cortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy) is another.
Your ethnicity also plays a role. African Americans have a much higher risk of stroke than Caucasians, partly because they’re more likely to have a range of cardiovascular risks that contribute to stroke.
The odds of having a first stroke are twice as high for African Americans as they are for Caucasians; they also die of their strokes more often as well.
Reduce it: You can’t change your genes, so do everything you can to change bad lifestyle habits.