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  Insights Into Women and Stroke Risk

By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter

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.

More information

The American Heart Association's Go Red for Women program has more on stroke prevention steps to take throughout your life.

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=739105

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Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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