Why Are Women At A Higher Risk For Stroke Than Men?
Not only older, but young people as well can suffer from stroke. The number of young adults suffering from this life-threatening medical condition is increasing every day. Thus, every one of us should be aware of its symptoms and causes. But, did you know that women are more affected than men? Read the article to learn more!
For example, if you notice any stroke-related symptoms and signs, you should immediately call 911, or dial the telephone number of other emergency medical care, because the patient needs to be hospitalized for a timely treatment. Oxygen therapy and certain medication taken within the first few hours after the brain attack can help avoid long-term disability and can even help save the patient’s life.
Types and Causes of Stroke
When the blood supply to the brain is interrupted, a brain attack can occur, commonly known as a stroke. When the blood supply is interrupted for a shorter period, the condition is referred to as minor stroke. The symptoms of this mild attack may disappear within a few minutes and therefore may go unnoticed. But, when the blood supply is blocked for longer than just a few minutes, tissue damage occurs. This condition is known as major stroke, which may result in death.
The blood supply to the brain can be blocked due to two main reasons – a blood clot or cholesterol plaque in the artery, and an excessive narrowing or hardening of an artery wall, both of which may result in disruption of the blood supply to the brain. The blood clot can develop in the brain itself or it can travel to the brain from other organs. Also, an artery rupture can result in a cerebral hemorrhage within the brain.
A stroke due to an interruption in blood supply is known as an ischemic stroke, while the one due to a broken artery is known as a hemorrhagic stroke. When only a few brain cells are damaged due to lack of oxygen, we can notice only mild symptoms. However, in case of tissue damage, severe symptoms and long-lasting effects can be seen. For example, there may be a deterioration of important centers of vision, speech, movement, etc. Patients who have received the correct treatment within a few minutes or within a couple of hours, show a rapid recovery. Therefore, it is necessary to know the symptoms.
Why Are Women More Prone To Stroke Than Men
Since women generally live longer than men, they are more prone to having a brain attack. According to recent research, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death among men, while among women is the third. But, in addition to the general risk factors, there are also unique risk factors that address only women.
The general risk factors include diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history, age, smoking, alcohol abuse, lack of physical activity and obesity.
Risk factors that address only to women are:
– Migraines with aura – These types of migraines usually cause visual disturbances. Women who have them are more prone to having a stroke as well.
– Pregnancy – Due to the natural changes in the organism, such as increased heart stress and blood pressure, pregnant women are at a greater risk
– Taking contraceptive pills – Women who take these pills and already have some of the general risk factors, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, are of greatest concern.
– Hormone therapy – Women who are under treatment to relieve the symptoms of menopause are at a greater risk. This includes taking progestin and estrogen.
Prevention For Women
If you often experience migraines with aura and you’re smoking, it’s advisable to stop immediately! Also, if you already have high blood pressure, don’t take birth control pills.
Then, pregnant women should regularly monitor their blood sugar and blood pressure levels, in order to lower the risk of stroke. If you notice anything that’s above normal, you should consult your doctor immediately.
And, just like for men, women should strive for a healthy diet and regular physical activity, in order to be able to preserve their health.