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Monday, December 2, 2013

Women and Stroke - The Causes

Posted by Chantel Martiromo,  Article By Kyle J. Norton 

What is stroke?
Stroke is defined as condition in which the brain function is interrupted rapidly due to the loss of blood supply as a result of the blockage of blood such as thrombosis and arterial embolism, or leakage of blood causes of the death of brain cells, according to the article of Mitochondria, oxidative metabolism and cell death in stroke by Sims NR, Muyderman H (September 2009). Stroke is caused by cholesterol build up in the arteries and high blood pressure. In other words, if cholesterol building up in the arteries is blocking the circulation of blood in any part of the body causing oxygen not to be delivered to the brain, resulting in some cells in the brain to die off and are unable reproduce,
Besides cancer and heart diseases, stroke is the third leading cause of death. Approximate 1/4 of all stroke victims die as a direct result of the stroke or it's complications.

Women and stroke
According to the statistic of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, strokes kill 45% more women than men in Canada. In the study, published in the journal Neurology, researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles monitored 17,000 people over a period of six years. They found the incidence of stroke rising faster among women than men.When women reach the age of 45, the risk of stroke begins to rise rapidly, it may be due to levels of estrogen has dropped significantly at age 45 and onward.
Causes of stroke in women
There are similar causes of stroke and heart diseases, but in stroke the result is more severe. Any delay of rescuing will result in death of the victim. Here are some causes of stroke:
1. Unhealthy diet
A diet high in saturated and trans fats causes bad cholesterol to build up in your blood vessels in the brain, blocking oxygen needed for the cells thus increasing the risk of stroke. Also unhealthy diet causes high blood pressure making your heart work harder to pump blood to your body in result of heart diseases. High blood pressure also causes the blood vessels in your brain to harden and thin, increasing the risk of stroke.

2. Smoking
Smoking not only has a devastating effect on the health of the smoker but also to anyone that inhales its toxic fumes. Cigarettes contain high levels of cadmium that causes the blood to clot activity of cells in result of blocking blood flow and damaging the blood vessels in the brain.

3. Excessive drinking
Moderate drinking is good for your heart, but excessive drinking can raise levels of some fats in your blood causing cholesterol to build up in the arteries and blood vessels in the brain resulting in increase of the risk of stroke.

4. Diabetes
People with diabetes tend to develop heart disease or have strokes at an earlier age than other people. Diabetes with unhealthy diet causes high blood glucose levels that damage nerves and blood vessels, leading to complications such as heart disease and stroke, the leading causes of death among people with diabetes.

5. Obesity — a body mass index of 30 or higher
Study shows that even after adjusting for other stroke risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, cardiac diseases, moderate alcohol consumption, and physical activity; obesity is still associated with a greatest risk of stroke in men and women.
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6. Use of birth control pills
Birth control pills contain estrogen and one of two other hormones, lynestrenol or norethisterone that increase the risk of blood clotting, which can lead to ischemic stroke especially in woman who smoke and who are older than 35.

7. Migraines
According to the article published in the journal Neurology, Dr. Kurth and his colleagues looked at 27,798 female health professionals ages 45 and older, including 3,568 who had migraines, from the Women's Health Study, researchers found that women with once-a-week-migraines with auras -- who made up 5 percent of the women with migraines -- were four times as likely to have had a stroke during the 12-year study as women without migraines, And women who had migraines with auras less than once a month (75 percent of the group) were more than twice as likely as migraine-free women to have a heart attack, and almost twice as likely to have had a heart procedure, such as bypass surgery. Overall, only 2.5 percent of women in the study had experienced a stroke, heart attack, or related problem.

8. Pre-eclampsia
In the article of Preeclampsia and Stroke: Risks during and after Pregnancy by Cheryl Bushnell and Monique Chireau, researchers indicated that although women with cerebrovascular manifestations of preeclampsia are thought to be out of danger when the baby is delivered, accumulated data show that women with preeclampsia are at risk for stroke and cardiovascular disease well after the postpartum period and child bearing years....... From a clinical perspective, preeclampsia should be regarded as a risk factor for stroke in pregnancy as well as a harbinger of future cerebrovascular disease, although there are many gaps in our knowledge about who is at risk and when, as well as how to best prevent preeclampsia and stroke in women.

9. Estrogen and progestin HRT
In a sudy of Hormone replacement therapy and stroke, by Billeci AM, Paciaroni M, Caso V, Agnelli G., researchers concluded that there seems to be no indication for hormone replacement therapy in the prevention of stroke in women. Further studies are needed to discover why estrogen have different effects on the heart and brain. Conventional risk-factors which could increase the risk of estrogen therapy need to be identified and as well as more restrictive inclusion and exclusion criteria such as coagulation parameters and intimal thickness should be adopted before new randomized trials are started.

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