Statistically women generally live longer than men but the risk of stroke is higher in middle-aged women than their male counterparts.
More women than men die from strike each year. Strokes are the leading cause of disability for women and can kill twice as many women as breast cancer.
Reasons why the risk of stroke is higher in women
- Post menopausal changes. Menopause comes with age and with it comes certain conditions that could increase a woman’s risk.
- Preeclampsia and eclampsia. Although associated with pregnancy. This could double a woman’s risk of a stroke several years after pregnancy.
- Migraines can also double a woman’s risk.
- Hypertension is a common condition that could arise after menopause and is also a high-risk factor for stroke.
- Atrial Fibrillation which is often a rapid heart rate that commonly results in poor blood flow puts a person at five times greater risk for stroke.
As women grow older, they need to make healthy lifestyle changes which could fundamentally lessen the danger of heart diseases.
So says a new research done by specialists at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, USA, alongside the University of São Paulo Medical School, Brazil, which shows that it’s not too late for women to start making healthy choices in their diets when they approach their Middle Ages.
Such lifestyle changes should include:
- Quitting smoking
- Commitment to daily exercise for at least 30 minutes.
- Since obesity has been linked with heart diseases, it is advisable that women who are overweight should lose weight.
All these could help reduce the risk of stroke by 25 percent.
- Eating healthier diets by making sustainable dietary changes could also help reduce the risk of stroke by about 23 percent. Diets rich in nuts and fish but low in red meat also helps reduce the risk of stroke.