7 Ways Women Can Prevent a Stroke
7 Ways Women with Diabetes Can Prevent a Stroke
By Sandra Gordon
Each year, 425,000 women in the U.S. have a stroke, a "brain attack" that occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts, which obstructs blood flow to the brain. Women outnumber men in the stroke department. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), 55,000 more women have a stroke than men each year and roughly 26,000 more women die from it.
In addition to gender, diabetes creates the vascular conditions ripe for stroke by making your arteries more likely to form artery-clogging plaque. Consequently, "women with diabetes have about four times the risk of stroke than women without diabetes," says Cheryl Bushnell, M.D., associate professor of neurology at Wakeforest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and a co-author of the American Heart Association's 2011 updated guidelines for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in women. Prevention is key. Here are seven ways you can reduce your risk of stroke to help you stay healthier and get the help you need should stroke strike.
1 - American Heart Association. Statistical Fact Sheet 2012 Update, Women & Cardiovascular Disease. http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@sop/@smd/documents/downloadable/ucm_319576.pdf.
2 - American Stroke Association. http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/About-Stroke_UCM_308529_SubHomePage.jsp.
3 - Interview: Cheryl Bushnell, M.D., Associate professor of neurology, Wakeforest Baptist Medical Center.
4 - Mosca, L, et al. (2011). Effectiveness-Based Guidelines for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Women, 2011 Update: A Guideline From the American Heart Association 123(1243-1262).
5 - National Stroke Association. Women and Stroke. http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=women.
Reviewed by Jason C. Baker, MD. 8/12
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