Navigation Links
Middle-Aged Women Gaining Weight, Raising Their Stroke Risk

Study finds both went up simultaneously in recent decades

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged American women are gaining weight, especially around the waist, while their risk of stroke has increased significantly, a new study finds.

"In this study, we can't determine exact cause and effect, but it suggests there might be a relationship," said Dr. Amytis Towfighi, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Southern California, who was expected to report the findings Wednesday at an American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference in New Orleans.

Most stroke studies focus on older people, but the incidence of stroke in women aged 35 to 54 is twice as high as in men of the same age, Towfighi said. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Studies done in 1988-1994 and 1999-2004, she and her colleagues looked at whether the risk of stroke in middle-aged women has increased and what the causes of such an increase might be.

The increase is real, the study found. In the earlier study, 0.6 percent of women in the age group reported strokes, but that rose to 1.8 percent in the later study. Stroke incidence among men of the same age remained stable, with an incidence of about 1 percent.

"In women, waist circumference increased significantly, as did the prevalence of obesity," Towfighi noted. "There was no difference in the percentage of women who had diabetes, were smokers or who had hypertension."

Women in the later study had an average waist circumference that was 4 centimeters wider than women in the earlier study. Average body-mass index, a measure of obesity, rose from 27.11 in the earlier study to 28.67 in the later study. And 14.8 percent of the women in the later study reported using medications to lower blood pressure, up from 8.9 percent in the earlier study. Almost 4 percent of women in the later study said they were taking medication to lower cholesterol, compared to 1.4 percent in the earlier study.

"Abdominal obesity is a known predictor of stroke in women and may be a key factor in the midlife stroke surge in women," Towfighi said in a statement.

The relationship makes sense, said Daniel T. Lackland, a professor of epidemiology at the University of South Carolina, and a spokesman for the American Stroke Association. "People have shown that obesity does make a big difference in increasing the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease," he said.

But it's difficult to disentangle the various risk factors that circle around obesity, Lackland said. "What many have shown is that if you increase obesity, you increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and also lipid abnormalities," he said, a reference to high cholesterol levels. "Is obesity an independent risk factor for stroke? The study was not designed to show that."

The study does reinforce the standing advice to avoid obesity, as well as other stroke risk factors, Lackland noted. "By losing weight, you lose abdominal circumference, you reduce the risk of diabetes and lipid abnormalities, all of which are known risk factors for cardiovascular disease," he said.

A recent national study found that uncontrolled hypertension rates are increasing among American women of all ages, with 22 percent of women having high blood pressure in the early 2000s, compared to 17 percent in the 1990s. The incidence among American men dropped from 19 percent to 17 percent during that same period, but the rate of decline among men has slowed, the study found.

More information

Stroke and its causes are described by the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: Amytis Towfighi, M.D., assistant professor, neurology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles; Daniel T. Lackland, Ph.D., professor, epidemiology, University of South Carolina, Charleston; Feb. 20, 2008, presentation, American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference, New Orleans

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Depression Pushes Middle-Aged Workers to Retire
2. Heart Death Rates Worsening for Middle-Aged Adults
3. Depression, Obesity Coexist in Many Middle-Aged Women
4. Antioxidants show no clear benefit against cardiovascular events, death in high-risk women
5. Work-Family Conflict Dogs Air Force Women After Deployment
6. Work-Family Conflict Dogs Air Force Women After Deployment
7. Antioxidant Supplements May Raise Womens Skin Cancer Risk
8. Early Weight Loss in Women Linked to Dementia
9. For Health Info, Women Often Turn to the Web
10. Smoking increases risks for head and neck cancers for men and women
11. New Study Reports High Injury Rates for Hotel Workers, Even Higher Rates for Women and Nonwhites
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Middle-Aged Women Gaining Weight, Raising Their Stroke Risk
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... ... Beginning November 30th at 6:00 a.m. EST until 11:59 p.m. EST, customers ... up to 20% off orders $80 or more to free gifts with purchases, there will ... As a competitive e-commerce website for skin care and cosmetic needs, customers will save on ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article published November ... they are handling security in light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, other ... to stop an attack from reaching U.S. soil. Especially around special events that may ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Lizzie’s Lice Pickers just announced a special ... 10% off of their purchase of lice treatment product. In addition, customers will receive ... a company spokesperson. “Finding lice is a sure way to ruin the holidays, so ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... Intellitec Solutions announced today that they ... Recognized as Microsoft’s official group for end users of Dynamics SL ERP software, ... industry experts and representatives. Intellitec Solutions’ membership status demonstrates their ongoing commitment to ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... successful and prominent nonprofit healthcare organizations in the country. They have overseen financial ... organizations, and helped advance the healthcare industry as a whole through their advocacy ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Países Bajos, November 26, 2015 ... la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado. ... la inmunoterapia con la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para ... Un nuevo enfoque combina la inmunoterapia con la terapia ... Clinical Cancer Research . --> ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nederland, November 26, 2015 ... Een nieuwe aanpak combineert immunotherapie met ... kanker. ) ...      (Photo: ) ... Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC) ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 3D bioprinting market is expected to reach ... by Grand View Research Inc. Rising prevalence of chronic diseases ... is expected to boost the market growth, as 3D bioprinting ... --> 3D bioprinting market is expected to reach ... by Grand View Research Inc. Rising prevalence of chronic diseases ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: