In February, the month for all things red, the focus was on women’s heart health. It is a subject that should be addressed due to the fact that heart attack is the leading cause of death amongst women. While awareness has certainly increased surrounding the leading cause of death amongst women, the second leading cause of death often receives little attention.
Strokes are the second leading cause of death amongst women, said Louisiana cardiologist Dr. John Winterton. This type of injury may be generally associated with men, but it is actually more common amongst women.
What is a stroke? It is essentially a brain injury “related to an interruption of blood flow to the brain.” This interruption can be caused by an embolic event, like a clot or blockage in an artery. The worst part about this type of injury is that is irreversible, Dr. Winterton noted.
What makes a stroke even more dangerous is that the exact cause of the medical issue has yet to be determined.
Medical researchers have, however, pinpointed a few risk factors that patients can watch out for. Individuals that smoke, are obese, live sedentary lifestyles, have a family history of strokes, have been diagnosed with diabetes or have high blood pressure or cholesterol are at a higher risk for suffering a stroke.
The patient can certainly take preventative measures like eating healthy and working out, but it is a doctor that most often has the ability to diagnose a stroke. What happens if a medical professional fails to see the warning signs? The failure to diagnose a stroke could lead to serious, irreparable or even fatal damage.
Source: Fox 29, “Strokes more common in women,” Valen Johnson, March 3, 2014