The newly identified checklist includes smoking, a pot belly, lack of exercise and high blood pressure.
The ten factors were identified by researchers after they compared the lifestyle of 3,000 stroke patients with a ‘control’ group of 3,000 healthy people.
Most of the risk factors mirror those linked to heart attacks, say the Canadian researchers.
Around 150,000 people have a stroke in Britain every year. Around a third die, a third recover, and a third are left with a serious disability.
The study identified five factors that account for 80 per cent of cases – high blood pressure, smoking, a fat stomach, poor diet and lack of exercise.
When the researchers added another five factors – diabetes, excess alcohol, stress and depression, heart disorders and the presence of blood fat molecules called apolipoproteins – they could account for 90 per cent of all the risk factors for stroke.
Dr Martin O’Donnell, from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, said: ‘Our findings suggest that ten risk factors are associated with 90 per cent of the risk of stroke.
‘Targeted interventions that reduce blood pressure and smoking, and promote physical activity and healthy diet, could substantially reduce the burden of stroke.’
The findings, reported in the medical journal The Lancet, come from Interstroke – an study covering 22 countries.
Strokes kill 67,000 in the UK each year, making them the third most common cause of death after heart disease and cancer.
More than 300,000 Britons are living with a disability caused by a stroke.
Strokes can also occur when a blood vessel bursts, causing bleeding in the brain.
Of all the factors, high blood pressure was by far the most important, accounting for a third of all stroke risk, the study found.
Those who had a history of high blood pressure were more than two and a half times more likely to suffer a stroke than those who did not. Smoking was another major hazard, and was associated with one in five strokes.
Smokers had double the stroke risk of non-smokers. Andrea Lane, from The Stroke Association, said: ‘This is an in-depth study so it’s great to see that the findings support previous research and reflect the preventative advice provided by association.’