Stroke Prevention & Care
A stroke is a disease affecting blood vessels in and around the brain, causing an interruption of blood flow to the brain.
This can be related to a clot in a blood vessel or bleeding from a blood vessel into the brain. Strokes can occur in people of all ages, from infants to seniors. Women suffer from strokes more frequently than men (77,000 women die from stroke in one year compared to 52,000 men) and is the third leading cause of death in women each year. Arm yourself with information- it may save a life.
- Regular physical activity (at least 30 minutes three times a week)
- Moderate alcohol consumption (less than one drink per day for non-pregnant women)
- Abstention from cigarette smoking
- Diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, olive oil and low in saturated fat
- Prevention of Preeclampsia - women with chronic or pregnancy related hypertension should discuss the potential use of low-dose aspirin and calcium supplementation during pregnancy with their provider
- Treatments to reduce migraine frequency and cessation of smoking should be discussed with provider for women with migraines with aura
Know the Risks
- High blood pressure
- Family History
- Lack of physical activity
- Alcohol intake greater than 6 drinks/week
Risks for stroke in women are higher because of:
- Pregnancy and preeclampsia- high blood pressure in pregnancy doubles a woman’s risk of stroke in later years
- Birth control pills may double the risk of stroke
- Hormone replacement therapies
- Migraine headaches with an aura and smoking
- Atrial fibrillation increases stroke risk four times in women over age 75
Recognize the Symptoms
- Face: facial drooping on one side
- Arms: one arm drifts down
- Speech: strange sounding speech or slurred speech
- Time: Call 911 with any sign of stroke
Disabilities from stroke can be devastating. They can be prevented or limited with quick intervention and treatment.
For more information, visit Upstate’s Comprehensive Stroke Center website.