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A stroke happens when there are blood-flow problems to your brain. A blood clot or bleeding in your brain can cause this serious health event.
A stroke can strike anyone—no matter your age, ethnicity, or sex. There is no typical stroke victim. In the U.S., stroke is now more common in women than men. More than half of the 795,000 strokes that occur each year happen to women and 60 percent of stroke deaths occur in women. In fact, in 2014, the American Heart Association released new guidelines for preventing strokes in women.
Certain factors can boost your chances of having a stroke. Women otherwise have many of the same risk factors for stroke as men – such as high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes – but women have other risk factors to consider. For instance, hormonal changes can raise a woman’s risk for stroke. During pregnancy, some mothers-to-be may develop preeclampsia—a form of high blood pressure. Certain birth control pills can also put a woman at higher risk for stroke--this is especially true if one smokes, is older than 35, years or suffers from certain types of migraines. People with Atrial Fibrillation (AF) are 4 to 5 times more likely to have a stroke. AF more commonly occurs in women due to the combined facts that AF afflicts older people and women tend to live longer than men.
Learn the common signs of stroke. During a stroke, both men and women often report that the following appear suddenly:
If you suspect you or a loved one is having a stroke, call 911 right away. Time is essential for receiving lifesaving treatment. Learn more about how a stroke can damage your brain.
Without further ado, here they are: 8 Ways to Help Women Prevent a Stroke
You can‘t change your family history but you can change some of behaviors to help reduce your risk of stroke.
Some key points to keep in mind:
Prevention, early detection, and treatment of stroke-related risk factors are the combined best defenses for staying healthy.
* Preventive services at no cost applies only to members enrolled in non-grandfathered health plans. You may have to pay all or part of the cost of preventive care if your health plan is grandfathered. To find out if your plan is grandfathered or non-grandfathered, call the customer service number listed on your member ID card.
Source: Harvard Health, June 1, 2013, American Heart Association, National Institutes of Health
Last updated: 5/1/2019
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