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Aussie women unconcerned about stroke

Aussie women unconcerned about stroke
Photo: Aussie women unconcerned about stroke
Australian women worry about a number of issues in relation to their health but for too many stroke isn’t something they think about.

Research has revealed Australian women are more worried about issues such as weight loss, exercise and a lack of sleep, with only five percent listing stroke and heart disease as a major health concern.

On International Women’s Day Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan said there needed to be more awareness of risk factors for stroke, a disease which kills more women than breast cancer.

“One in five women are at risk of stroke but too many of us are more concerned about our weight or how much sleep we are getting rather than our overall cardiovascular health,” Ms McGowan said.
“Mothers, sisters and friends’ lives could be saved by knowledge of their stroke risk, or treating chronic conditions such as high blood pressure.

“Other than their longer life expectancy, research shows women have an increased burden of major stroke risk factors including high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, diabetes and obesity.

“Stroke is one of the biggest killers of Australian women – much more must be done to stop this devastating disease,” she said.

Ms McGowan said too many women in the community were unaware that they had a higher risk of stroke over their lifetime than men.

“There are a number of stroke risk factors that impact women such as pregnancy, the post-partum period, the contraceptive pill and some hormonal replacement therapies,” Ms McGowan said.

“We don’t want to scare people but we need the community to be aware of these risk factors and what steps they can take to lower their overall risk of stroke – 80 per cent of strokes can be prevented.

“There are simple things we can all do to reduce our risk of stroke – manage your blood pressure, eat healthy, exercise regularly, don’t smoke and limit your alcohol consumption.

“Too many women are needlessly dying or living with serious disability every year from stroke – a largely preventable disease.

“Be bold for change this International Women’s Day and put your health first by asking your doctor for an integrated health check – it could save your life,” she said.

Fast Facts
  • 25,194 strokes are estimated to have occured in women in 2016
  • There are around 202,035 women stroke survivors living in the community
  • One in five women are at risk of stroke
  • 22% of women have high blood pressure
  • 56% of women are obese
  • 47% of women are physically inactive
  • 92% of adult women do not eat enough fruit and vegetables
  • 12% of adult women smoke daily
  • 9% of women consume alcohol at risky levels
  • Three out of four carers of stroke survivors are women

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