Causes of a Stroke in a Woman - Oren Zarif - Causes of a Stroke in a Woman
While one in five women will suffer from a stroke, the chances are high that you won't be one of those victims. Strokes are the third leading cause of death for women, and some factors contribute to their higher risk. Certain lifestyle factors, such as smoking, age, and high blood pressure, increase the chances of developing a stroke. For example, women who are taking oral contraceptives or who have a history of preeclampsia/eclampsia, or taking postmenopausal hormone therapy, have a 20 percent greater chance of developing a stroke.
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Pregnancy and high blood pressure are also known to increase the risk of stroke in women, but it is rare. The high blood pressure caused by pregnancy can make blood clot more easily and restrict the flow of oxygen to the brain. While a woman's blood pressure will rise, this is normal, and may actually protect the baby from bleeding during delivery. Another cause of stroke in a woman is taking hormonal medications, such as birth control pills or the contraceptive pill, during pregnancy. These medications can cause blood clots and increase blood pressure.
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Other factors that increase the risk of ischemic stroke in a woman are her age, diabetes, and pregnancy. Women who suffer from high blood pressure while pregnant and those who undergo cesarean delivery are more likely to suffer from a stroke. Additionally, women who suffer from preeclampsia are more likely to develop a stroke after delivery due to the shift in hormone levels after childbirth. Lastly, younger women who use drugs, such as methamphetamine and cocaine, have an increased risk of a stroke.
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If you suspect your loved one is suffering from a stroke, you need to act fast. If you notice facial changes or drooping arms, or a slurred speech, it is time to call 911 for immediate medical care. The sooner you get treatment, the better your chances of recovery. If you do notice the signs of a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately. Your life is too important to risk it.
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There are many common causes of stroke in women. You should understand these and other factors to minimize your risk. The symptoms and signs of stroke in a woman can vary, but you should visit a medical professional if you notice any of these symptoms. A woman who experiences these symptoms may be suffering from an atypical stroke, which is known as a hemorrhagic stroke. This type of stroke may be asymptomatic, or you may have a stroke with no obvious cause.
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The major risk factors for stroke in women are similar to those of men. Women are more likely than men to develop hypertension and cardiovascular disease, which are both important in determining stroke risk. Women who develop hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and high cholesterol are at greater risk of developing a stroke. The most effective prevention and treatment strategies will target these risk factors early in life, including a more aggressive approach to treatment for all women.
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Some lifestyle factors that increase the chances of a stroke in a woman include obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and smoking. While these conditions can affect any woman, women who are obese have a two-and-a-half times higher risk than lean women. Other factors include high cholesterol, not getting enough exercise, and certain unavoidable defects. Women who smoke and take oral contraceptives are at higher risk for a stroke.
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In women, some risk factors for a stroke include genetics, age, and gender. Interestingly, African-American women have a three-fold higher risk of stroke than white women. Furthermore, the phosphodiesterase 4D gene is highly prevalent among women, which encourages the formation of blood clots and causes ischemic strokes. In addition to age and gender, smoking is a risk factor for a stroke.
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Women should monitor their blood pressure and diet regularly to help lower the risk of a stroke. Increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables, is one way to lower a woman's risk of a stroke. Smoking reduces the oxygen supply to the body and increases the chance of blood clotting. While smoking increases the risk of a stroke, women with high blood pressure should not smoke.
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A woman's risk for a stroke is increased by age and hormone therapy. Hormonal therapy, which helps relieve menopausal symptoms, may also increase a woman's risk for a stroke. Low-dose estrogen in birth control pills can also raise a woman's risk. As a woman ages, her chances for a stroke doubles every decade. It is important to seek medical attention if you are concerned about a potential stroke.