• Do you know your stroke risk?

  • Some of the most important risk factors for stroke can be determined during a physical exam at your doctor's office. If you are over 55 years old, this worksheet can help a woman estimate her risk of stroke and show the benefit of risk factor control.

    The worksheet was developed from NINDS-supported work in the well-known Framingham Study. Working with your doctor, you can develop a strategy to lower your risk to average or even below average for your age.

    Many risk factors for stroke can be managed, some very successfully. Although risk is never zero at any age, by starting early and controlling your risk factors you can lower your risk of death or disability from stroke. With good control, the risk of stroke in most age groups can be kept below that for accidental injury or death.

    Americans have shown that stroke is preventable and treatable. In recent years, a better understanding of the causes of stroke has helped Americans make lifestyle changes that have cut the stroke death rate nearly in half.

    Scientists at the NINDS predict that, with continued attention to reducing the risks of stroke and by using currently available therapies and developing new ones, Americans should be able to prevent 80 percent of all strokes.

    Score your stroke risk for the next 10 years - WOMEN

    Key:  SBP = systolic blood pressure (score one line only, untreated or treated); Diabetes = history of diabetes; Cigarettes = smokes cigarettes; CVD (cardiovascular disease) = history of heart disease; AF = history of atrial fibrillation; LVH  = diagnosis of left ventricular hypertrophy

    Stroke Risk 1A

    Stroke Risk 2

    Stroke Risk 3

    This example helps you assess your risk of stroke. Tally your points to score your stroke risk over the next 10 years.

    Martha, age 65, wanted to determine her risk for having a stroke, so she took this stroke risk profile. This is how she arrived at her 10-year probability risk for having a stroke:

    Age 65
    SBP – treated, 107-113
    Diabetes - No
    Cigarettes - Yes
    CVD - No
    AF - Yes
    LVH - No
    4 points
    2 points
    0 points
    3 points
    0 points
    6 points
    0 points

    15 points

    15 points carries a 16 percent, 10-year probability of having a stroke. If Martha quits smoking she can reduce her points to 12, which carries a 9 percent, 10-year probability of having a stroke.

    Her current point total does not mean Martha will have a stroke, but serves as a wake-up call to ways she can lower her risk or even prevent a stroke. A lower percent score doesn’t mean that Martha won’t have a stroke, only that she is at a lower risk of having one.

    No matter what your score is, it is important to work on reducing your risk factors as Martha did in this example by quitting smoking.

    Prepared by:
    Office of Communications and Public Liaison
    National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
    National Institutes of Health
    Bethesda, MD 20892

    NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient's medical history.

    All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied.

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