We evaluated the age-related stroke risk factors in 164 Italian male patients with a diagnosis of first-ever ischemic stroke. Based on the age, we divided the patients into two groups: 42 patients ranging in age from 40 to 55 years, and 122 patients ranging in age from 56 to 75 years. For each case, an age-matched control without a history or symptoms indicating vascular disease was randomly selected from hospital patients. Information were obtained on the various risk factors. Univariate analysis showed that for the younger patients high systolic blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, hypertriglyceridemia, smoking and family history of ischemic stroke were significantly related to stroke. In the older patients, high diastolic blood pressure and smoking had a strong association with stroke. Multivariate analysis showed that high systolic blood pressure, hypertriglyceridemia, smoking and family history of stroke remained significantly and independently associated with stroke in patients up to the age of 55 years. Among patients 56 years or older, only high systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and smoking were significant predictors of stroke. In conclusion, the sets of factors associated with the risk of stroke among young and old male patients appear to be different.