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08
August 2015

Understanding the risk of stroke for women

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Each year, stroke kills 2x as many women as breast cancer.

Women have unique risk factors for stroke.

  • Stroke risk increases with age, and women often live longer than men. This is largely why 6 in 10 people who die from stroke are women.
  • Stroke risk doubles in women at midlife and roughly doubles during the 10 years after menopause.
  • Stroke risk increases during pregnancy.
  • Taking birth control pills may double stroke risk, especially in women with high blood pressure.

In the United States, 1 in 5 women will have a stroke.

All women can take 5 steps to reduce their risk for high blood pressure.

  1. Know your family history.
  2. Be physically active.
  3. Eat a healthy diet that’s low in sodium.
  4. Limit alcohol intake.
  5. Avoid smoking. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke.

stroke risk in women

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