Insights Into Women and Stroke Risk

Insights Into Women and Stroke Risk

You might be surprised to learn that stroke is the number three killer of women.

Menopause & Aging Well

HealthDay News


TUESDAY, Dec. 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- You might be surprised to learn that stroke is the number three killer of women.

Women and men have many of the same risk factors for stroke, but some -- like high blood pressure, migraine with aura, diabetes and stress -- tend to be stronger or more common in women.

Your risk is also influenced by hormones, reproductive health and other sex-related factors.

These recent stroke-prevention guidelines were developed just for women.

If you're considering going on the pill for birth control, have your blood pressure checked first. The pill and high blood pressure are a dangerous mix.

If you have high blood pressure and become pregnant, talk to your doctor about low-dose aspirin and/or calcium supplement therapy to lower your preeclampsia risk. Preeclampsia is a dangerous condition that often starts with a spike in blood pressure and swelling, among other symptoms, and can go on to affect not only your internal organs but also your baby's development.

Preeclampsia also puts you at risk for stroke later in life, more so if you smoke, have high cholesterol and are obese. Note: You don't have to have pre-existing high blood pressure to develop preeclampsia. That's why having regular blood pressure checks during prenatal visits is key to identifying it as soon as possible.

Other stroke-prevention advice: If you get migraine headaches with aura, don't smoke. Take steps to quit if you do. Work with your doctor on safe and effective anti-smoking options, from nicotine replacement to other helpful therapies.

Other preventive steps are needed at other ages. For instance, using hormone replacement therapy, such as after menopause, raises stroke risk. So does the abnormal heartbeat called atrial fibrillation -- women over age 75 should be screened for it.

Fifty thousand more U.S. women than men have a stroke every year, and more women than men die from it. The time to start taking prevention steps is now.

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

ADVERTISEMENT

How I Found New Relief With Migraine Disease

I was plagued with migraine disease for decades and finally found relief with a new doctor, new diagnosis, new medication, and a new career.

Real Women, Real Stories

America's Obesity Epidemic Threatens Effectiveness of Any COVID Vaccine

In America, the promise of the coronavirus vaccine is hampered by a vexing epidemic that long preceded COVID-19: obesity.

Your Health

Health Care Workers of Color Nearly Twice as Likely as Whites to Get COVID-19

Health care workers of color were more likely to care for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, more likely to report using inadequate or reused protective gear, and nearly twice as likely as white colleagues to test positive for the coronavirus.

Your Care