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One in five women will have a stroke in her lifetime, compared to one in twelve men. So, what accounts for this difference? Researchers aren’t quite sure, but there are several possible explanations. For example, women may be more likely than men to have risk factors like high blood pressure and diabetes.

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a main risk factor for stroke. More than 2 in 5 women have blood pressure greater than or equal to 130/80 mm Hg or are taking medicine to control their blood pressure. Only about 1 in 4 of those women have their blood pressure controlled to below 130/80 mm Hg.

Stroke risk increases with age. Because women generally live longer than men, more women have strokes over their lifetimes.

Women also have unique risk factors for stroke, including:

  • Having high blood pressure during pregnancy
  • Using certain types of birth control medicines
  • Having higher rates of depression
  • Being pregnant and recent childbirth
  • Using hormone replacement therapy
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having a history of diabetes
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Drinking alcohol excessively
  • Suffering from stress

And when it comes to strokes, timing is everything, since women often don’t realize they’re having a stroke until it’s too late. So, if you’re a woman, learn about the signs and symptoms of strokes, and make sure you know how to act fast if you think you might be having one. Because every second counts! Stroke is the No. 3 cause of death in women.

The good news is that most strokes can be prevented. Here are some tips:

Evaluate your risk factors for stroke. Some risk factors are controllable and treatable, while others aren’t. It’s important to understand your risk.

Know your blood pressure and keep it in a healthy range. High blood pressure is the No. 1 preventable cause of stroke.

Talk to your health care professional about ways to improve your well-being and help prevent stroke.

Learn how to spot a stroke F.A.S.T. If you see Face drooping, Arm weakness or Speech difficulty, it’s Time to call 911.

The neurologists at THE BRAIN CENTER are specially trained in the care and treatment of stroke patients. To learn more information about how our neurology team can help you recover from a stroke, call us at our office at: (786) 565-8735