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Women and Stroke Risk

Stroke by the Numbers: New Guidelines Offer Ways to Lower Your Risk

1. Women have more strokes than men, and stroke kills more women than men.

Talk to your healthcare provider about how to lower your risk, using the below information from the new American Heart Association/American Stroke Association prevention guidelines.
Do you know how to identify a stroke and when emergency help is needed? Learn how to spot a stroke FAST.

2. Stroke risk goes up due to pregnancy

About 3 out of 10,000 pregnant women have a stroke during pregnancy compared to 2 out of 10,000 young women who are not pregnant. Mothers who develop preeclampsia during pregnancy double the risk of stroke later in life.
Lower your risk for stroke by talking to your doctor. Pregnant women with very high blood pressure should be treated with safe blood pressure medications.

3. Stroke risk goes up due to birth control pills

May double the risk of stroke, especially in women with high blood pressure.
Lower your risk for stroke by getting screened screened for high blood pressure before taking birth control pills. Women should not smoke, and they should also be aware that smoking and the use of oral contraceptives increases the risk of stroke.

4. Stroke risk goes up due to Hormone Replacement Therapy

Once thought to lower stroke risk, this in fact increases the risk.
Lower your risk of stroke. Hormone replacement therapy should not be used to prevent stroke in postmenopausal women.

5. Stroke risk goes up due to Migraines with aura and smoking

Strokes are more common in women with migraines with aura who also smoke. Get the tools you need to quit today.
Lower your risk for stroke. Smokers who have migraines with aura should quit to avoid higher stroke risk.

6. Stroke risk goes up due to Atrial Fibrillation

Quadruples stroke risk and is more common in women than men after age 75.
Lower your risk for stroke. All women over age 75 should be screened for atrial fibrillation.