Fast Five Quiz: Stroke

Richard H. Sinert, DO


November 06, 2020

Risk factors for ischemic stroke include modifiable and nonmodifiable conditions. Identification of risk factors in each patient can uncover clues to the cause of the stroke and the most appropriate treatment and secondary prevention plan.

Nonmodifiable risk factors include the following (although there are probably many others):

  • Age

  • Race

  • Sex

  • Ethnicity

  • History of migraine

  • Fibromuscular dysplasia

  • Heredity: family history of stroke or TIAs

Modifiable risk factors include the following:

  • Hypertension (the most important)

  • Diabetes mellitus

  • Cardiac disease: atrial fibrillation, valvular disease, heart failure, mitral stenosis, structural anomalies allowing right-to-left shunting (eg, patent foramen ovale), and atrial and ventricular enlargement

  • Hypercholesterolemia

  • TIAs

  • Carotid stenosis

  • Hyperhomocystinemia

  • Lifestyle issues: excessive alcohol intake, tobacco use, illicit drug use, physical inactivity 

  • Obesity

  • Oral contraceptive use/postmenopausal hormone use

  • Sickle cell disease

Stroke is a recognized risk factor for osteoporosis. Higher serum calcium levels have been associated with lesser stroke severity and better outcomes.

Read more about the etiology of ischemic stroke.


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