Increased Stroke Risk in Older Women Due to Blood Pressure and Other Risk Factors: Study

Understanding the complex factors influencing stroke risk in aging womenStroke ranks as the fifth leading cause of death for men in the United States, and for women, it’s the third. As people get older, their chances of having a stroke go up. Since women typically live longer than men, they end up having more strokes in their lifetimes.

However, a recent study published in the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases suggests that the reasons behind this are more complicated than just living longer.


Dr. Parneet Grewal, an assistant professor of vascular neurology at MUSC and the study’s main author, emphasizes the importance of understanding these differences in stroke rates. She believes it’s crucial to address these gaps in knowledge to reduce the number of stroke-related deaths and health issues.

There are two main types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. In Ischemic strokes, the blood vessels in the brain get blocked due to blood clots or other particles. This cuts off oxygen and nutrient supply to the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes occur when a blood vessel suddenly bursts or leaks, putting pressure on the brain.

After examining various studies, Dr. Grewal and her team noticed that stroke risk factors differ between women and men. While factors like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, smoking, and high cholesterol increase the risk for both genders, women seem to be more susceptible to certain conditions as they age.

For instance, women tend to be more affected by high blood pressure than men. Since high blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke, controlling it through lifestyle changes is crucial. A national study from 2019 revealed that the link between increasing blood pressure and ischemic stroke risk was twice as strong in women compared to men.


Other factors such as late puberty, early menopause, pregnancy complications, and hormone therapy also play a significant role in a woman’s stroke risk. Dr. Grewal particularly highlights pregnancy-related conditions that lead to high blood pressure, as they increase the overall risk of stroke and mortality. She notes that women who experience these conditions during pregnancy may face long-term effects on their cardiovascular health.

Dr. Grewal stresses the importance of education, regular check-ups, and early treatment to improve outcomes for women at risk of stroke. She hopes that by using this knowledge to tailor prevention strategies, women can receive more effective stroke prevention in the future.

While Dr. Grewal’s study focused on identifying trends in stroke risk factors, she plans to explore the causes of stroke and its outcomes in future research. Investigating the causes of nontraditional strokes could lead to new prevention methods.

Author Bio

Devon Andre has been involved in the health and dietary supplement industry for a number of years. Devon has written extensively for Bel Marra Health. He has a Bachelor of Forensic Science from the University of Windsor, and went on to complete a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh. Devon is keenly aware of trends and new developments in the area of health and wellness. He embraces an active lifestyle combining diet, exercise and healthy choices. By working to inform readers of the options available to them, he hopes to improve their health and quality of life.


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