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Do You Know the Signs of this Common Heart Issue?

February is American Heart Month, so I want to address a very serious issue that you can’t afford to ignore—especially if you’re a woman. In fact, twice as many women die every year from this than from breast cancer. And now, research reveals it’s not just older women who are at elevated risk… women ages 35 and younger are, too. Here’s everything you need to know—including the signs to watch out for.

Young Women Face 44 Percent Higher Risk

A new review of 16 international studies examined differences in stroke rates among younger men and women. The studies spanned 13 years, and mainly focused on adults 45 years old and younger. The reports featured nearly 70,000 men and women from over half a dozen countries. Most had suffered from ischemic strokes. (This is a stroke caused by a blockage of blood supply to the brain. It accounts for nearly 90 percent of all strokes.)

Ultimately, the analysis showed that gender differences in stroke rates were more pronounced in subjects younger than 35. In this group, women were 44 percent more likely to suffer an ischemic stroke. This gap narrowed among older subjects, though. In fact, only 15 percent of ischemic strokes occurred in people younger than 50 years old. Nevertheless, I think it’s safe to say this is a difference worth keeping on your radar. Especially since younger female stroke survivors are likely to fare worse than their male counterparts—facing double to triple the risk of poorer outcomes.

Act F.A.S.T.

As you know, there are many solutions for stroke prevention. A single search through my archives will deliver a long list of safe, natural, and extremely effective recommendations. For now, I’d like to remind you how to spot a stroke. Because no matter your age or health status, knowing the signs—and acting quickly—could be lifesaving.

Signs and symptoms of stroke are the same in men and women. They include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arms, or legs—especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, and trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden vision problems, in one or both eyes
  • Sudden walking trouble—dizziness, imbalance, or coordination loss
  • Sudden and very severe headache

But it’s what you do after you notice these symptoms that can make all the difference. And the key to remember is that it’s important to act F.A.S.T.

Face: Ask the person to smile. Is one side of their face drooping?

Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Is one arm drifting downward?

Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?

Time: If you notice any of these signs, call 911 immediately.

The faster you get treatment for a stroke, the better the outcome is likely to be. Every second matters… and this is one situation where you simply can’t afford to hesitate.

Sources:

  1. "Women ages 35 and younger are 44% more likely to have an ischemic stroke than male peers." Science Daily. 01/24/2022. (com/releases/2022/01/220124151037.htm)
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Stroke Signs and Symptoms.” (gov/stroke/signs_symptoms.htm)