February 16, 2009 --
Stroke is a leading killer of women, but a new survey reveals many of the most vulnerable women don't recognize the extent of their risk. Researchers surveyed more than 200 women between the ages of 50 and 73. Most of the participants were white with high income and well-educated. All had at least one major risk factor for stroke, including hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and an irregular heart rhythm.
But the survey found that many women did not associate their own health conditions with an increased risk for stroke.
Only 19 percent of the women identified irregular heart rhythm as a risk factor of stroke. Sixteen percent identified heart disease and 36 percent identified diabetes as risk factors. About 70 percent of the women surveyed said they rarely or never worried about stroke.
The survey is published in the journal Stroke.