Stroke Awareness for Women

Would you know how to recognize the warning signs of a stroke? The American Stroke Association recently did a study on women to find out how many women would, and the results were surprisingly low.

The study included over 1200 women and found that while over half the women did know that sudden numbness and weakness in the facial muscles, legs or arms where warning signs, over half had no idea about other warning signs such as, slurred speech and/or difficulty speaking, severe headaches, vision loss and dizziness that come on suddenly.

Recognizing the signs of a stroke can save lives and acting fast can improve the chances of functional recovery. The lack of stroke awareness, especially in women, is quite worrisome, which is why the American Stroke Association launched a national campaign for stroke awareness and prevention. Since timing is such an essential factor in dealing with a stroke, they appropriately created an acronym, F.A.S.T., to help people identify and quickly react in the event of a stroke.

Face drooping
Arm weakness
Speech difficulty
Time to call 911

A large percentage of strokes can be avoided with proper precautions. Medical and lifestyle changes can greatly reduce the risk of a stroke and while a stroke can happen to anyone, studies show that more women than men die from stokes. Risk factors for suffering from a stroke include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Identify atrial fibrillation (Afib)
  • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
  • Circulation problems
  • An inactive lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol intake

If you think you may fall into the category of women at risk of a stroke, talk to your doctor about what medical and lifestyle precautions you can take to increase your chances of a long and healthy life.