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Women: Here's the real reason your stroke risk is higher than men's

by , 11 December 2013

There are many differences between men and women - and it's not just about our sexual organs. For example, did you know that men have stronger bones than women? Or that men have larger noses because they need 10% more oxygen than the fairer sex does. Now, a study shows that the reason women are almost three times more likely to have a stroke than men. Here's why and what you can do to lower your risk.

What does being a woman have to do with stroke?

Everything it appears.

Why your heart is different to a man’s and why it really does matter…

First of all, as a woman, your heart is two thirds the size of a man’s. It also beats 10% less frequently than your husbands. And that’s why “women who suffer with an irregular heart rhythm, known as atrial fibrillation (AF), are at greater risk of stroke than men, says cardiologist Dr Glyn Thomas reveals.

Strokes are a complication of this mainly because, after menopause, women are more prone to high blood pressure. And high blood pressure precedes stroke.

And that’s not the only heart difference putting you at risk.

Your arteries are also smaller. This means you have a greater chance of blocked arteries than a man.

So how can you lower your risk?

Three easy changes you can make to your life to prevent a stroke

#1: Exercise more
Studies reveal exercise is just as effective against strokes as medication. Makes sense when you consider that exercise not only keeps your blood pumping but it releases endorphins that help you blow off anger and negative self-talk.

#2: Quit smoking
According to Stroke, the health of your lungs is a good indicator of your risk of having a stroke. Smoking, passive smoking and outdoor air pollution have all been linked to strokes. So quit smoking to lower your risk.

#3: Drink in moderation
As we explain here, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to strokes. This because drinking heavily – especially binge-drinking – causes your blood to thin and may be to blame for haemorrhagic strokes, where bleeding is caused by burst blood vessels in or around the brain. So curb those binge drinking outings and only drink in moderation.

With stroke being such a common problem in women, isn’t it time you make these changes? They could just save your life. 

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