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What are the risk factors for a bleeding stroke?

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Risk factors for a hemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke or ischemic stroke are the same, including controllable risk factors, such as high blood pressure, plaque buildup in artery walls, heart disease and high cholesterol, states WebMD. Obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, certain medications and smoking cigarettes also increase the risk of stroke.

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Risk factors that increase a person's likelihood of a hemorrhagic or ischemic stroke that are uncontrollable are age, gender, race and family history, according to WebMD. People who have had a previous stroke or heart attack, have artery abnormalities or fibromuscular dysplasia are also at a higher risk for stroke.

Controllable risk factors are factors that a person can control or that a doctor can control with treatment, notes WebMD. Uncontrollable risk factors, such as age, are those that cannot be controlled or changed even with medical treatment.

Hemorrhagic strokes account for only 20 percent of all strokes, while ischemic strokes are much more common and account for 80 percent of all strokes, advises WebMD. A hemorrhagic stroke happens when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. An ischemic stroke happens when a blood clot in the brain blocks oxygen to other cells. A stroke can occur at any age, including childhood, but for each 10 years over the age of 55, the chance of stroke doubles.

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