Guidelines Issued for Stroke Prevention in Women

Posted on Mon, Jun 30, 2014
Guidelines Issued for Stroke Prevention in Women

Synopsis of guidelines focuses on unique risk factors for women, stroke prevention strategies

TUESDAY, June 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- New guidelines have been released that highlight unique stroke risk factors for women and address prevention strategies, according to a synopsis article published in the June 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Cheryl Bushnell, M.D., M.H.S., from the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., and Louise McCullough, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, discuss the newly released American Heart Association/American Stroke Association guideline focusing on stroke prevention in women. Members of a multidisciplinary expert panel reviewed the literature and devised evidence-based tables and developed recommendations.

The researchers discuss stroke risk factors for women, including hypertension, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, and migraine headache, which are stronger risk factors or more prevalent among women; hormonal contraception; menopause and hormone replacement; and depression and psychosocial stress, which may be a stronger risk factor in women. Stroke prevention strategies include maintenance of a healthy lifestyle, with recommendations for lifestyle intervention identical for men and women; treatment of carotid stenosis, with similar guideline recommendations for both sexes; and use of aspirin. Gaps in the literature limit the ability to provide strong, sex-specific recommendations. New recommendation were provided for pregnancy and pregnancy-associated complications.

"We hope that this guideline will spur additional research to determine the best approaches to stroke prevention for both men and women," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Genentech.

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