Americans had over 800,000 strokes last year, and half were in women. While many stroke risk factors for women and men are the same, women can face additional risks from pregnancy, birth control pills, and other lifestyle factors. So, for the first time, the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association on Thursday released new stroke warning signs and prevention guidelines specifically for women. Researchers agree that once women start recognizing the unique risk factors, they can better prevent strokes.
Monitoring and treating eclampsia and pre-eclampsia is especially important for stroke prevention. Other stroke risk factors that tend to be stronger or more common in women than men include high blood pressure, migraine with aura (a visual phenomenon such as flashing lights or loss of vision before the headache), atrial fibrillation (a quivering or irregular heartbeat), diabetes, depression and emotional stress, the heart association says.
Visit this page for guidelines on how best to treat warning signs and prevent strokes in women.