Contributing Author: The Tortoise
Do you know that:
- Stroke is the 3rd leading cause of death for women.
- Stroke kills TWICE as many women as breast cancer each year.
- Stroke hits 55,000 more women than men each year (US).
- Stroke will have hit 1 in 5 women by age 75 (UK).
- Stroke will cause a disability in half of all stroke survivors.
- Women are more likely to suffer a major disability from stroke than men.
- Women are more likely to die from a stroke than men.
Common Stroke Symptoms (Men & Women):
- Sudden numbness/weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance/coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
Women also have unique stroke symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness or fainting
- General weakness
- Difficulty of shortness of breath
- Confusion, unresponsiveness or disorientation
- Sudden behavioural change
- Nausea or vomiting
General Risk Factors (Men & Women):
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Smoking single-handedly doubles your risk of death from stroke
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Illegal drug usage (eg. cocaine increases risk of stroke by 700% in the 24 hours following use)
- Being overweight (22% higher risk of ischaemic stroke) or obese (64% higher risk of ischaemic stroke)
Prevention & the good news:
- Up to 80% of all strokes can be prevented.
- Moderate exercise can reduce your risk of stroke by up to 27%.
- Get treatment for high blood pressure and diabetes.
- Keep a healthy weight.
- Stop smoking!
- Don't use illegal drugs.
- Moderate your alcohol consumption.
- Research has found a clear 'dose-related' association between fruit and vegetable consumption and stroke risk, which means that the more you eat of these food groups, the lower your risk!
Women and Stroke, National Stroke Association, US
How do strokes affect women?, Diana Rodriguez, Everyday Health
State of the Nation Stroke Statistics January 2016, National Stroke Association, UK
Images from Pixabay