Most women overlook signs of stroke

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Most women overlook signs of stroke

Posted: 04/29/2015 12:29 PM IST
Most women overlook signs of stroke

Lifestyle diseases like hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity are increasing day by day. There is increasing awareness about the high incidence of such diseases in men but a women’s health is often neglected due to lack of awareness.

The Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center conducted survey and revealed the fact that majority of women neglect the signs of heart stroke due to the notion that heart disease mainly affects men.

Dr. Diana Greene-Chandos, a neurologist and director of neuroscience critical care at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center said that "Women have thought of stroke as a man's disease and have not really been as proactive in understanding their risk for stroke".  "I think we have a ways to go when it comes to educating women about stroke and their unique risk factors", he added.

The survey was conducted on 1, 000 women and among them only 11 percent could identify the female-specific stroke risks including smoking, physical inactivity, and high blood pressure, women, unlike men, can have hiccups, dizziness, headaches, atypical chest pain, and numbness.

The main cause for the women heart stroke is related to female hormones such as estrogen. It is a coagulant and clots blood more. Raise in the level of estrogen hormone increases risk of heart strokes in women. Usually this problem is mostly observed after later stages of pregnancy and right after delivery. Estrogen levels can also be raised by birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy medications.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death for women and the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. The common risk factors for men and women includes smoking, not exercising or having a blood pressure higher than 140/90, having a hemoglobin A1C of more than 7 if you are already diabetic, or 5.7 if not diabetic. Other stroke risk factors includes, having a LDL cholesterol of less than 100 if you are without additional stroke risks, or less than 70 with additional stroke risks, particularly diabetes.

So, experts suggest exercise, a low-sodium diet, and regular check-ups go a long way to keeping women heart healthy.

By Lizitha

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