“One in 5 women in the United States will have a stroke in her lifetime. Stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer does, making it the fourth leading cause of…”.1

Umbrella
What may the Stroke Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Brain Attack
  • Brain Stroke
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage
  • Cerebral Infarction
  • Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA)
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke
  • Ischemic Stroke
  • Stroke

Definition

What is a stroke?

DotS the definition of a stroke may vary. The American Stroke Association’s (ASA) definition is:

“Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain”.2

Cause

What causes a stroke?

In About Stroke the (United States) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) elaborate on:

“A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, occurs when something blocks blood supply to part of the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. In either case, parts of the brain become damaged or die. A stroke can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability, or even death”.3

Risk Factors

What are risk factors for stroke?

In Stroke – Causes, Signs & Symptoms: What Increases My Chance of Having A Stroke? the British Heart Foundation (BHF) explain what risk factors are and note:

“A risk factor increases your chance of developing a condition. Risk factors for a stroke are similar to those for heart diseases, such as angina or heart attacks”.4

Atrial Fibrillation

Is atrial fibrillation (AF) a risk factor for stroke?

Yes. In Stroke – Causes, Signs & Symptoms: What Increases My Chance of Having A Stroke? the BHF also note:

“If you have an abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation (AF) your risk of stroke is increased. This is because AF increases the risk of a blood clot forming inside the top chambers of your heart. If this happens, it can travel to your brain and block the blood flow to your brain”.5

Symptoms

What are the most common symptoms of a stroke?

In Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs): What Are Common Symptoms of Cardiovascular Disease? the World Health Organization elaborate on:

“The most common symptom of a stroke is sudden weakness of the face, arm, or leg, most often on one side of the body. Other symptoms include sudden onset of:

  • Numbness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding speech
  • Difficulty seeing with one or both eyes
  • Difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Severe headache with no known cause; and
  • Fainting or unconsciousness.
People experiencing these symptoms should seek medical care immediately”.6

Women’s Symptoms

In women, what stroke symptoms may be different from common stroke symptoms?

In Women Have A Higher Risk of Stroke: Unique Symptoms In Women the American Stroke Association (ASA) elaborate on:

“Women may report symptoms that are different from the common symptoms. They can include:

  • Loss of consciousness or fainting
  • General weakness
  • Difficulty or shortness of breath
  • Confusion, unresponsiveness or disorientation
  • Sudden behavioral change
  • Agitation
  • Hallucination
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain
  • Seizures
  • Hiccups
Unique symptoms create a problem, as they are often not recognized as a stroke symptom and treatment is often delayed. The most effective stroke treatments are only available if the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within the first three hours of the first symptoms”.7

Emergency Numbers

Can different countries have different emergency telephone numbers?

StrokeDifferent countries can have different emergency telephone numbers. It may therefore be in your best interest to choose to check what your country’s emergency telephone number is”.

High Blood Pressure

Is there an association between high blood pressure and stroke?

In Stroke Risk Factors You Can Control, Treat and Improve: High Blood Pressure the ASA note:

“High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a leading cause of stroke and the most significant controllable risk factor. So know your numbers and keep them low”.8

Common or Not

How common is stroke?

In the United States according to the CDC:

“Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of serious disability for adults. About 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke each year”.9

Women

In women, how common is stroke?

In Women and Stroke the CDC elaborate on:

Stroke

“One in 5 women in the United States will have a stroke in her lifetime. Stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer does, making it the fourth leading cause of death for women. Surprised? You’re not alone. Many women do not know their risk of having a stroke”.10

Affect

How may a person be affected by stroke?

In Effects of Stroke the ASA explain:

“The effects of a stroke depend on several factors, including the location of the obstruction and how much brain tissue is affected. However, because one side of the brain controls the opposite side of the body, a stroke affecting one side will result in neurological complications on the side of the body it affects”.11

WISEWOMAN

What is the (United States) WISEWOMAN program?

In WISEWOMAN the CDC elaborate on:

“The WISEWOMAN (Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for WOMen Across the Nation) program was created to help women understand and reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke by providing services to promote lasting heart-healthy lifestyles. Working with low-income, uninsured and underinsured women aged 40 to 64 years, the program provides heart disease and stroke risk factor screenings and services that promote healthy behaviors”.12

Health Care Provider

What if I think I am at risk of stroke or I have a family history of cardiovascular disease (CVD)?

If you think you are at risk of stroke or you have a family history of CVD, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

In Prevention of Diseases After Menopause: Cardiovascular Diseases the authors note:

“Screening for CVD at regular intervals after menopause is extremely important. This includes measurement of blood pressure, lipids and perhaps inflammatory markers, BMI, and ascertainment of lifestyle factors such as activity level and smoking status. In addition, a family history of heart disease and stroke is important”.13

In Cardiovascular Health: Risks & Causes – What To Do Next? the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health elaborate on:

“The following list is a summary of the checks that are important for women’s cardiovascular health:

  • See your doctor for a discussion about your risks of developing cardiovascular disease including your family history and ethnic background
  • Have an annual blood pressure check
  • Have an annual blood test to measure your cholesterol
  • Test for diabetes by having your blood glucose checked
  • If you are a smoker discuss with your doctor all of the factors which affect your risk of developing cardiovascular disease
  • Discuss your weight with your doctor to determine if this is a risk factor for you”.14

In What Can I Do To Reduce My Risk? the (British) Stroke Association elaborate on:

  • “Take Prescribed Medication…
  • Regular Check-Ups…
    • High Blood Pressure
    • Diabetes
    • High Cholesterol
    • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Lifestyle changes…
    1. Cut Down on Alcohol…?
    2. Stop Smoking…
    3. Stay A Healthy Weight…
    4. Eat Healthily…
    5. Be As Active As You Can…?”.15

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Stroke?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Stroke?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted above?

You may find the Sources at:

Sources

  1. Women and Stroke. Page Last Reviewed: July 25, 2019. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/women.htm Accessed: 01 February 2020
  2. About Stroke: What Is Stroke? American Stroke Association https://www.stroke.org/en/about-stroke Accessed: 01 February 2020
  3. About Stroke. Page Last Reviewed: January 31, 2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/about.htm Accessed: 01 February 2020
  4. Stroke – Causes, Signs & Symptoms: What Increases My Chance of Having A Stroke? British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/conditions/stroke Accessed: 01 February 2020
  5. Stroke – Causes, Signs & Symptoms: What Increases My Chance of Having A Stroke? British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/conditions/stroke Accessed: 01 February 2020
  6. Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD): What Are Common Symptoms of Cardiovascular Disease? World Health Organization https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cardiovascular-diseases-(cvds) Accessed: 01 February 2020
  7. Women Have A Higher Risk of Stroke: Unique Symptoms In Women. Last Reviewed: 05 December 2018. American Stroke Association https://www.stroke.org/en/about-stroke/stroke-risk-factors/women-have-a-higher-risk-of-stroke Accessed: 01 February 2020
  8. Stroke Risk Factors You Can Control, Treat and Improve: High Blood Pressure. Last Reviewed: 10 October 2018. American Stroke Association https://www.strokeassociation.org/en/about-stroke/stroke-risk-factors/stroke-risk-factors-you-can-control-treat-and-improve Accessed: 01 February 2020
  9. Stroke. Page Last Reviewed: 18 November 2019. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/ Accessed: 01 February 2020
  10. Women and Stroke. Page Last Reviewed: July 25, 2019. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/women.htm Accessed: 01 February 2020
  11. Effects of Stroke. American Stroke Association https://www.stroke.org/en/about-stroke/effects-of-stroke Accessed: 01 February 2020
  12. WISEWOMAN. Page Last Reviewed: 10 June 2019. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/wisewoman/index.htm Accessed: 01 February 2020
  13. Lobo, R. A., Davis, S. R., De Villiers, T. J., Gompel, A., Henderson, V. W., Hodis, H. N., Lumsden, M. A., Mack, W. J., Shapiro, S. and Baber, R. J. Prevention of Diseases After Menopause: Cardiovascular Diseases. 2014:7 https://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2014/white_paper/wmd_white_paper_english.pdf Accessed: 01 February 2020
  14. Cardiovascular Health: Risks & Causes – What To Do Next? Last Updated 09 November 2017 — Last Reviewed 15 January 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/cardiovascular-health/risks-causes/ Accessed: 01 February 2020
  15. What Can I Do To Reduce My Risk? Stroke Association https://www.stroke.org.uk/what-is-stroke/what-can-i-do-to-reduce-my-risk Accessed: 01 February 2020
Topic Last Updated: 01 February 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 01 February 2020
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