Women and Stroke
Women's Stroke Risk
One way you can improve your odds for not having a stroke is to learn about the lifestyle changes and medicines that can lower your stroke risk.
Some risk factors are the same for men and women:
- a family history of stroke
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- being overweight
- not exercising
Learn more about these risk factors by visiting www.stroke.org/risk.
Other risks are unique to women:
- taking birth control pills
- being pregnant; stroke risk increases during a normal pregnancy due to natural changes in the body such as increased blood pressure and stress on the heart
- using Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), a combined hormone therapy of progestin and estrogen, to relieve menopausal symptoms
- having a thick waist and high triglyceride (blood fat) level; post-menopausal women with a waist size larger than 35.2 inches and a triglyceride level higher than 128 milligrams per liter may have a five-fold increased risk for stroke
- being a migraine headache sufferer; migraines can increase a woman's stroke risk 3-6 times, and most Americans who suffer migraines are women
To understand and control your particular stroke risk, talk to your doctor.