Saturday, March 10, 2018

Women Can Be Of Higher Stroke Risk!

Stroke, also known as brain attack, occurs when blood flow to an area of brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die, and the victim could lose the abilities controlled by that area of the brain like memory and muscle control.

Hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke are 2 common types of stroke. Hemorrhagic stroke results from a weakened vessel that ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain. Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying blood to the brain is blocked and Most stroke victims suffer ischemic stroke and about 13 percent of the victim have hemorrhagic stroke. While some victims may recover completely from stroke, more than two-third of survivors have some sort of disability. Sadly, victim who had hemorrhagic stroke most often dies. 

Over the years, a number of risk factors have been found to link to stroke. Individuals with high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes are more likely to suffer stroke. Risk of stroke also increases with age. Some lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, being overweight or obese, and eating unhealthy diet can all play a role in putting one at higher risk.

A recent study published February 8, 2018 in the journal 'Stroke' pointed out that sex also plays a part, too. Researchers from Michigan State University, University of Maryland School of Medicine (S.K.), Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and University of Michigan Stroke Program found that women are more likely to experience stroke than men, and mortality is much higher among women. According to them, stroke affects 55,000 more women than men each year in the United States. It is the leading cause of disability and the third leading cause of death in women.

Their analysis showed that several factors that increase stroke risk in women include menstruation before the age of 10, menopause before the age of 45, low levels of the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEAS), and use of birth control pills. A history of pregnancy complications, such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure during or immediately after pregnancy, can also raise stroke risk.

Irregular heart rhythm or atrial fibrillation, though not included in the findings, is considered as a major risk factor for stroke. Previous studies have found that women generally have a higher rate of atrial fibrillation then men. In fact, people who had atrial fibrillation are 5 times more likely to get a stroke.

While some of these risk factors are fairly common, few women who have one or more will actually suffer a stroke. But it is important for doctors to be aware of these risks. They should monitor these women carefully by warning them that they are at higher risk and motivating them to adhere to the healthiest lifestyle behaviors to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and subsequent stroke.

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