The Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority encourages you to take charge and know the risk factors for stroke. According to the American Heart Association, strokes are deadly and dangerous, it is the #5 killer and a leading cause of disability in the US. A few of the stroke risk factors that you can control, treat, and improve include knowing your blood pressure number and keeping it low, quit smoking, controlling your blood sugar, low cholesterol, high blood cholesterol (low amounts of HDL “good cholesterol”) and leading a healthy lifestyle (physical activity, eating a diet that consists of 5+ servings of fruits and vegetables per day, maintaining a healthy weight). Other diseases and conditions may put you at higher risk of stroke, the link between heart disease and stroke is significant. Additionally, there are stroke risk factors that are not within your control and it is important to know about them, these include age, family history, race, gender, those who have suffered from a prior stroke or heart attack. Women have more strokes than men and strokes kill more women than men. African Americans have a much higher risk of death from a stroke than Caucasians, this is partially due to the higher rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.