How women's health issues affect stroke risks - FOX 32 News Chicago

How women's health issues affect stroke risks

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(WJBK) -

A stroke happens when the blood supply is cut off to your brain. Every year more women than men suffer from strokes, and yet few know the risk factors that come with the various stages of a woman's life.
"You have the childbearing years, perimenopausal, post-menopausal, and that just, it modifies those already traditional risk-factors," says Dr. Dolora Wisco from the Cleveland Clinic.  

The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association looked at risk factors influenced by pregnancy, birth control, migraines and other women's health issues, like preeclampsia, which is pregnancy-induced high blood pressure.

Women who have preeclampsia have twice the risk of stroke.

New guidelines recommend women with a history of high blood pressure before pregnancy be considered for low-dose aspirin and/or calcium supplement therapy to lower their preeclampsia risk.

Also, women should be screened for high blood pressure before taking birth control pills because the combination raises stroke risks.

Women who have migraines with aura should stop smoking to avoid higher stroke risk.

The goal is to get doctors and women to pay attention to their risk factors and figure out how to lower the risk of stroke.
"If you have high blood pressure; you know you have diabetes; you have cholesterol; you're smoking - those are major risk factors that you need to be paying attention to if you're a female," Wisco reminds.

The new guidelines can be found in the American Heart Association Journal "Stroke."

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