Anyone can have a stroke. But your chances for having a stroke increase if you meet certain criteria. Some of these criteria, called risk factors, are beyond your control -- such as being over age 55, being male, being African American, Native American, Hispanic or Asian/Pacific Islander, or having a family history of stroke. Other stroke risk factors are controllable. If you have one of these risk factors, it is even more important that you learn about the lifestyle and medical changes you can make to prevent a stroke.