Greater Risk Around the Middle

SS Member Image By drodriguez 03.29.08
Greater Risk Around the Middle
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The new alarming health trend of women at greater risk of suffering stroke has many people in the medical community very worried. A recent federal report from the National Health and Nutrition Survey reveals that the rate of strokes among middle-aged women has tripled in the last few years.

The survey results indicate that almost 2 percent of women age 35 to 54 reported suffering a stroke between 1999 and 2004. This is up from only a half a percent reported from the years 1988 to 1994. Another interesting aspect the survey revealed was that the male rate stayed the same at 1 percent in both surveys.

Most people who suffer strokes are in an older age group, but this spike in younger stroke victims is a very serious problem. Even though more women in the 1999 ? 2004 were taking medicines to lower cholesterol than those in previous they still reported 3 times as many incidences of stroke than before.

Dr. Amytis Towfighi, a neurology specialist at the University of Southern California, conducted a study to figure out what it was that changed in women over the last few years that would warrant such a drastic increase in strokes.

The study found that the traditional risk factors of smoking, heart disease or diabetes had not changed between the two surveys. The one thing that did stand out as a significant change was the increase of belly fat.

The amount of women who had abdominal obesity rose from 47 percent in the earlier survey to 59 percent in the latest. The change in belly fat was smaller for men in the survey. The new reports have doctors calling to re-examine the textbook idea that men are at a greater risk of stroke during middle age as these new numbers say the opposite.

What do you think of the latest research showing women are suffering strokes at a much higher rate than just a few years ago?

What do you think can be done to lower this rate?

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  • carm60 By carm60
    08.28.09  

    I recently had a cousin who had a major stroke. Unfortunately, it left him in a coma. I do agree education, diet, blood pressure, exercise stress levels, and overall good nutrition is key to avoiding strokes, as well as other major health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity, etc. I am a Nature's Sunshine Distributor, and I feel this company does an outstanding job at educating it's members with regard to alternative healthy solutions to everyday health issues. Here is the link to my website...check it out! http://www.mynsp.com/thegreenumbrella

  • golferatgreenpond By golferatgreenpond
    08.14.08  

    My body is average but i always gain weight in my stomach. I think it's in the genes.

  • sireeshasri By sireeshasri
    05.26.08  

    90980p

  • ILvTink By ILvTink
    05.13.08  

    I too agree that education is key. A healthy diet and exercise are key. More fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Any type of cardio too is a big plus, even if you just walk. Self.com has a wonderful get fit plan on their website that you can join where you can get exercises to do without going to a gym.

  • rmhartsell By rmhartsell
    05.13.08  

    With a father that died at a YOUNG age (43) and being an overweight female, I get really worried about my health. But, I think the solution (at least for me) is to have qualified medical professionals treat you.

  • julie66 By julie66
    05.01.08  

    Thanks for the great information.

  • OceanPark By OceanPark
    04.30.08  

    To me, this is another demonstration of how important it is to accurately represent women in medical research. So much of the current research on stroke and heart disease was done on men - we still don't really understand if there are differences for women, even as the risk to women grows. I've been learning more about women and heart disease (partly thanks to the Red Dress Project, which really opened my eyes) - but did not really think about stroke as a similar issue. While I definitely agree with all of you that exercise and lifestyle are key, what can we do to also improve research in this area?

  • deee By deee
    04.23.08  

    I think exercise is the key. It's much too easy to hop in the car when groceries are needed. I've been trying to break myself of this habit by shopping more often (buying small quantities that I can easily carry) and walking to various markets. I'm lucky enough to live in an area where this is possible. I noticed the lack of obesity while traveling in Europe. People walk everywhere!

  • gbiffle16racegrl By gbiffle16racegrl
    04.21.08  

    I agree with just about everyone here. I too am guilty of living the "American Lifestyle". I think maybe if the insurance companies took a step and offered a paid class that was manitory it would help inform people of what they are doing to their bodies, and what they can do to change it. In the long run this would save the insurance companies a lot of money too so, it should'nt be a big deal to toss a $20 bill to someone for an hour of their time. Just a thought.

  • bigKCfan By bigKCfan
    04.20.08  

    I just read an article that said that laying off processed foods such as white rice, white bread, pasta, etc would make a big difference. This makes since to me because my mom had to back off of these things because of chlosterol and she was talking about how much smaller her stomach has become since.

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