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Continued: Women face higher stroke risk

  • Article by: LENA H. SUN , Washington Post
  • Last update: February 6, 2014 - 11:30 PM

One measure that could be controversial is its recommendation to treat pregnant women with moderately high blood pressure (150 to 159 mmHg/100 to 109 mmHg) with blood pressure medication. That goes against recommendations by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Bushnell said.

“We are going out on a limb,” Bushnell said.

The paper also suggests that doctors monitor women age 75 for the most common type of irregular heartbeats, which is associated with a fourfold to fivefold increased risk of stroke. It also recommends that women exercise regularly, abstain from smoking, and eat a diet full of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, olive oil and foods low in saturated fats to help prevent stroke.

“Prevention can start at a young age,” Bushnell said. “If younger women get started with prevention now, they can perhaps prevent themselves from having a stroke later in life.”

The Associated Press and Bloomberg News contributed to this report.

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  • Feb. 6, 2014: Denise Miller of Southington, Ohio, suffered a stroke last year that fooled doctors at two hospitals before it was finally diagnosed at the Cleveland Clinic. She was 36 and had no traditional risk factors.

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