Stoke Prevention Guidelines for women have just been issued by the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) to reduce their risk of stroke. The issue of how men and women differ in their stroke risks has long been discussed so these guidelines are welcomed. The stroke prevention guidelines were published in a recent issue of Stroke and set forth methodology to determine a stroke risk score specifically for women. Each year, there are 55,000 more strokes in women than men. While stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in men, it is the 3rd leading cause of death in women. The guidelines point out that it critical to identify women at risk for stroke and to implement preventive care.
The risk of developing dementia was closely correlated with Framingham Risk scores in a recent study that looked at 10 year cognitive decline. The findings provide doctors with information about middle aged risk factors for cardiovascular disease and later cognitive decline. Not only is increased risk for stroke and cardiac disease predictable, but now future dementia risk is also measurable. The good news is that by identifying risk factors early and treating them both with physical activity and diet as well as medication where appropriate, these adverse outcomes can be decreased.