Strokes are the third leading cause of death. Women have separate issues that relate to hormonal factors and lifestyle choices. Certain risk factors are higher in women than they are in men; these include high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, emotional stress, depression and migraine with aura. The new guidelines highlight women’s risk factors and how to lower and treat them.
• Women who have a history of high blood pressure before they become pregnant should be considered for a low-dose aspirin and/or a calcium supplement therapy to lower their pre-eclampsia risk.
• Women who have pre-eclampsia have double the risk of stroke and four times the risk for developing high blood pressure. Be proactive with your doctor and discuss a stroke risk assessment.
• Women should be screened for high blood pressure before starting a birth control regimen, the combination of the two raises stroke risk.
• Women who suffer from migraine headaches with aura and smoke should quit to avoid a higher stroke risk.
• Women over the age of 75 should have an atrial fibrillation screening since it is linked to a high stroke risk.
• Follow a healthy lifestyle and participate in regular physical activity with a diet high in vegetables, fruits, grains, olive oil and low in saturated fat.
Around 30% of people who suffer a stroke have a permanent disability after. These disabilities range from an inability to speak, unable to walk and affect cognitive abilities. Identifying a stroke as soon as it happens can help ensure that the patient gets the treatment they need as soon as possible.
Here are the signs to look for: F. A. S. T.
Face drooping: Look for one side of their face that is drooping down or ask if it is numb. You can tell by asking the person to smile.
Arm weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask them to raise both of the arms up, watch for one arm to drift down.
Speech difficulty: Is speech slurred or are they unable to speak? Ask them to repeat a simple sentence, and check to make sure they say it correctly.
Time to call 911: If they are showing any of these symptoms call 911 and get them to a hospital, even if some of these symptoms go away.