Female Problems: Why You Need to Add Stroke to the List! by Donna John
Ladies, strokes are not an elderly disease or a man’s problem. One in five women will have a stroke, and most have no idea they’re at risk, according to Cindy Cooke, nurse practitioner (NP) and President of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. The good news is 80 percent of strokes are preventable. Cooke shares four quick tips to manage your risk:
- Get your blood pressure checked. High blood pressure is the single most important stroke risk factor, and it is also the most treatable. Manage your high blood pressure and decrease your stroke risk by nearly half.
- Know the risks. Family history, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, lack of exercise and obesity are the most common risk factors. Treat what you can.
- Wait, there’s more. Only 11 percent of women can identify the female-specific stroke risks. Here’s your cheat sheet: birth control pills, pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy, migraines and depression.
- Make healthy choices. Every good decision decreases your risk. Regular exercise? Knock off 35 percent. Healthy eating? That’s another 20 percent. When it comes to strokes, doing something is always better than doing nothing.
Four out of every five strokes are preventable! Do what you can today to protect yourself.