New stroke guidelines focus on women

WLFI File Photo
WLFI File Photo

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – It’s something that happens to women more often than you may think.

“It is actually the third reason for death in women right now,” said IU Health Arnett Dr. Tricia Lohr.

Now, officials with the American Heart Association are hoping to decrease the number of strokes among women with new guidelines.

“We’re finding that it actually affects more women than men as well, much like heart disease, so it’s the first time we’ve got some specific guidelines coming out,” said American Heart Association Communications Director Tim Harms.

Lohr said the guidelines cover topics like high blood pressure and smoking, which are risk factors for everyone.
Yet, she said there are also several topics geared specifically toward women.

“Women have an increase incidence of stress and depression and emotional disturbances,” said Lohr. “Also, with pregnancy. So, that’s a different reason for women to have a risk factor as well.”

Health officials said many of those factors, including pregnancy, are also becoming more common at an earlier age.
Lohr said that means so are strokes.

“Age is one of the risk factors for stroke, but for women obviously having the other risk factors that men don’t have, there is a need to educate younger and younger because there are women in their 30’s and 40’s that experience strokes as well,” said Lohr.

That’s why Lohr said these guidelines are so important. She said stroke education  is the best tool in helping save lives in the future.

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