BACKGROUND Cognitive impairment associated with vascular disease may be the only preventable form of dementia of late life. Identification of risk factors for dementia associated with stroke may be a prelude to improved intervention. SUMMARY OF REVIEW I reviewed putative risk factors for dementia associated with stroke. These included demographic, atherogenic, stroke-related, and genetic factors. Key studies from the English literature were reviewed and graded according to quality of evidence ratings (classes I, II, and III). Although many of the cardiovascular disease risk factors are logical antecedents of dementia associated with stroke, age was the only factor that could be considered a well-documented risk factor. CONCLUSIONS We should continue to support efforts directed at primary stroke prevention and the brain-at-risk and predementia stages. Additional rigorous epidemiological study is needed to clarify risk factors for dementia associated with stroke.