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By Wendy C, R.N., BA

2/7/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

Women need to look after themselves and alter their lifestyle to decrease their risk of stroke.

Women's risk factors for stroke include, a history of migraines, preeclampsia, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, smoking and poor dietary habits.

Women suffer more severe strokes than men.

Women suffer more severe strokes than men.


By Wendy C, R.N., BA

Catholic Online (

2/7/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: stroke, women, men, diabetes, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressue, hypertention, preeclampsia, obese, fruits, vegetables, pregnancy

LOS ANGELES, CA (Rise Above Health) - On February 6th, 2014 The American Heart Association and the American Stoke Foundation released the first ever 'stroke prevention guidelines' for women.  Some of the recommendations include:

All women with a history of preeclampsia should be regularly evaluated and treated for cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, smoking and high cholesterol. Screening for risk factors should start within one year after delivery.

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Pregnant women with high blood pressure or who experienced high blood pressure during a previous pregnancy should talk to their healthcare providers about whether they should take low-dose aspirin starting the second trimester until delivery to lower preeclampsia risk.

Expecting mothers with severe high blood pressure (160/110 mmHg or above) should be treated with blood pressure medications that are safe during pregnancy.

Pregnant women with moderately high blood pressure (150-159 mmHg/100-109 mmHg) should be considered for safe blood pressure medications.

Women should be screened for high blood pressure before starting birth control pills because the combination increases stroke risk.

Women should not smoke, and they should be aware that smoking while taking birth control pills increases the risk of stroke.

Women smokers who have migraines with aura (visual impairments) should stop smoking to avoid a higher stroke risk.

Women over age 75 should be screened for atrial fibrillation. Women in this age group are more likely than men to develop the heart rhythm disorder, which increases stroke risk five-fold

'These new guidelines are a call to action that doctors really need to be focusing more on women when it comes to stroke prevention,' said Dr. Shazam Hussain, head of the Stroke Section at the Cleveland Clinic, who was not involved with the guideline.

'Stroke risk is a discussion many of us already have with our patients before prescribing the pill," especially among smokers over age 35 since they're at greatest risk, said Dr. Errol Norwitz, chair of the obstetrics and gynecology at Tufts Medical Center. "I also check blood pressure after a woman starts the pill and will take her off if there's an increase because of stroke concerns."'

'Migraines, like preeclampsia, don't likely cause strokes,' Norwitz said, "but could be a sign that there's a predisposition for cardiovascular disease."

Gynecologists are advised to treat pregnant women who have hypertension with a calcium supplement to lower preeclampsia risks. He does, however, agree with other advice to treat them with a low-dose aspirin, which has been shown to lower risk-although by just a modest 10 percent.

Women need to look after themselves and alter their lifestyle to decrease their risk of stroke. Exercising, eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is imperative. Weight loss if over weight, also is recommended.

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