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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Women and Stroke - The Risk Factors


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.
Risk Factors
1. Age
Human aging is the biological process that is unavoidable but controllable. Starting at age 40, the cells in our body begin this process causing the deterioration of some functions of our body. Most people of this age group already have some form of cholesterol building up in their arteries and high blood pressure resulting in an increased risk of stroke.

2. Heredity
People with a family history of stroke have a greater chance of stroke than those do not have such a family history.

3. Race
Because of frequent high blood pressure in African Americans, they have a significantly higher risk of stroke than their Caucasian counterparts.

4. High blood pressure
High blood pressure causes hardening and thinning of arterial walls and makes our heart work harder to pump blood throughout our body resulting in heart diseases as well as increasing the risk of stroke.

5. Smoking
Smokers may be exposed to toxic cadmium, causing high blood pressure and heart diseases as well as contributing to a higher risk of stroke.

6. Excessive alcohol consumption
Drinking one cup of wine for women and 2 cups of wine for men might help to increase the circulation of blood as well as providing more oxygen for cells. However, excessive drinking not only damages the normal function of liver but also raises high blood pressure, increasing the risk of stroke.

7. Diabetes
Diabetes with unhealthy diet causes high levels of glucose in the bloodstream. Diabetics have a greater risk of stroke, because high levels of glucose damage the arterial wall as well as clotting the arteries and blood vessels.

8. Gender
Males have a 20% greater risk of stroke than females, but 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.

9. Atrial fibrillation
Risk of stroke increases by 5% for people with atrial fibrillation (poor blood flow)
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