How to detect and prevent stroke in women

23 May 2012

Unique symptoms
Many stroke symptoms are common for both women and men. Nonetheless, women may experience these warning signs suddenly: chest pain, face and limb pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, general weakness, hiccups and nausea, reported the National Stroke Association.

Unique risks
Likewise, certain risk-factors are exclusive to women: birth control medication, pregnancy and Hormone Replacement Therapy for menopause relief. Other risk-factors include high triglyceride levels (blood fat) and excess abdominal fat.

After menopause, a women’s risk of stroke escalates considerably, due to the disappearance of the natural cardiovascular protection from their hormones.

“During this time, blood pressure and cholesterol levels rise at a faster rate, increasing stroke risk,” explained Jan Flewelling, a registered nurse and stroke outreach coordinator for the Methodist Neurological Institute.

Michael Smith, a medical doctor with Life Extension, noted that women with extra belly fat and high triglyceride levels are up to five times as likely to suffer stroke.

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