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Women's Health

Simple Lifestyle Changes Contribute To Stroke Prevention For Women


Strokes, or "brain attacks" kill twice as many women each year as breast cancer, according to the National Stroke Association.

A stroke occurs when there is an interruption of blood flow to the brain. This can happen when a blood clot blocks an artery or blood vessel, or when the vessel itself breaks. When this happens, the cells die quickly. This causes the body to lose control of the abilities that area of the brain once controlled. Each year, nearly 730,000 people suffer from a stroke in the United States, and women are more likely to die from a stroke than men.

"Many women mistakenly believe that they’re more likely to die of cancer than heart disease and stroke," said Dr. Robert Lada, director of cerebrovascular medicine at Summa Health System. "The good news is that strokes are preventable if you take the appropriate actions."

Positive lifestyle changes can go a long way towards preventing strokes. Such changes include:

  • Stop smoking.

  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.

  • Monitor your blood pressure. Healthy blood pressure is considered 120/80.

  • Know your cholesterol number. Your combined LDL (low density lipid) and HDL (high density lipid) numbers should not exceed 200.

  • Eat healthy and exercise a minimum of 30 minutes three to five days a week.

  • Talk to your doctor if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

For more information on Summa Health System, visit www.summahealth.org.


© 2007 Health Resources Publishing