New guidelines to help women prevent strokes

02/07/2014 10:00 AM

02/08/2014 7:10 PM

Stroke is the third-leading cause of death for women so it makes sense that the American Heart Association finally has come out with guidelines to help women prevent strokes.

Each year about 800,000 people in this country have a stroke or a stroke recurs. Symptoms are different for women than they are for men just as there for gender differences for heart attacks.

General guidelines for stroke prevention include controlling blood pressure and diabetes, eliminating smoking, exercising more and eating healthier foods, The Associated Press reports.

But the new guidelines for women include:

• Having frequent migraines with aura — dizziness or altered senses such as tingling, ringing ears or sensitivity to light.

• Getting checked for high blood pressure before starting oral contraceptives.

• Noting the higher risk during pregnancy especially in the last three months and soon after delivery.

• Taking aspirin for anyone who has had a stroke unless the stroke was caused by bleeding rather than a clot or if a bleeding risk is a concern.

• Checking women over age 75 for atrial fibrillation.

• Not using hormone therapy for menopause to try to prevent strokes.

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