Dr. Mehmet Oz discussed the alarming new health epidemic of strokes among young women on the May 27 episode of the Dr. Oz Show ("The New Face of Stroke: Young Women at Risk").
Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States and are on the rise among women at younger and younger ages. Historically, strokes were considered an age-related condition, with the average stroke victim being 68 years old.
But Dr. Oz said an alarming new report shows that the incidence of strokes among women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s has increased by 40% in recent years. A stroke happens when a blood clot travels to, or forms in a part of, the brain. A stroke deprives your brain of oxygen, which often leads to brain damage.
Risk Factors for Stroke:
- high blood pressure
- chronic migraines
- birth control pills
- pregnancy and giving birth.
- being 10 or more pounds overweight
- having diabetes
Symptoms of Stroke:
- numbness on one side of the body
- slurred speech or trouble speaking
- sudden, painful headaches,
- blurred vision
Walking 20 Minutes a Day Reduces Stroke Risk 30%
Neurologist Dr. Carolyn Brockington, who was a guest on the Dr. Oz Show, said if you suddenly start slurring your words or feel your face drooping, it may mean you're having a stroke, and you should get immediate medical attention. The faster you get help, the less damage you'll do to your brain cells.
Dr. Oz said you can reduce your chances of having a stroke by keeping tabs on your blood pressure to make sure it doesn't get high. An ideal blood pressure is 120/80. Another way to dramatically slash your stroke risk is to walk at least 20 minutes a day. Doing this one activity alone can reduce your risk by 30%.