Women's Health Outlook: Strokes

Women’s risk for stroke is related to your cardiovascular health. Strokes are usually caused by a blockage of blood flow to the brain, or less commonly, by bleeding in the brain, causing brain cells to die.

More women than men have strokes each year, and women are less likely to survive them, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some risk factors for stroke are the same for both sexes, including age, family history of stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

However, women have additional risks more common in or exclusive to women, such as:

  • Being pregnant, especially with a history of complications like gestational diabetes or preeclampsia
  • Experiencing frequent migraine headaches with aura
  • Having a waist measurement larger than 35.2 inches, particularly if post-menopausal
  • Having atrial fibrillation
  • Having high triglyceride levels.
  • Taking hormonal birth control pills, especially if also smoking
  • Using hormone replacement therapy during menopause

In addition, African American women are at an even higher risk for stroke since they are more often diagnosed with hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and sickle cell disease than Caucasian women. Hispanic women are also at risk due to greater instances of high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.

See The Signs? Call 9-1-1

Typical symptoms of stroke:

  • Difficulty speaking or understanding speech
  • Numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg
  • Severe headache without a known cause
  • Trouble walking or lack of coordination
  • Vision problems
  • Disorientation, confusion, or memory problems
  • Fatigue
  • General weakness
  • Nausea or vomiting

For expert care throughout a woman’s life, trust Carson Tahoe Health. For more, visit www.carsontahoe.com/medical-group.