Are you at risk for a stroke?

Knowing the signs of a stroke could help save your life

Are you at risk for a stroke?

Source: Best Health Magazine, March/April 2010

According to a 2011 report by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, stroke awareness in this country is dangerously low, especially among women. Yet a stroke occurs in this country every 10 minutes, and it can happen to men and women of all ages. Here’s how to spot the warning signs:

Signs it may be a stroke

These symptoms come on suddenly, and you may not experience all of them.

‘ Numbness, tingling or weakness of the face, arm or leg
‘ Trouble speaking or confusion
‘ Vision problems
‘ Severe headache and/or dizziness

What are the risk factors?

Along with smoking, risk factors for strokes in women under the age of 55 include:

  • ‘ High blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • ‘ Conditions such as diabetes and lupus
  • ‘ Use of birth control pills
  • Migraines with auras
  • Clotting disorders can also cause stroke. Women who have had more than one miscarriage, for example, may be at higher risk for blood clots, as are women with a history of leg clots (or deep vein thromboses). The same goes if you have a vascular condition called livedo reticularis, characterized by mottled, purple-red patterns on the skin.


This article was originally titled ‘Stroke of luck,’ in the March/April 2010 issue of Best Health. Subscribe to Best Health today and never miss an issue!