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About Heart Disease & Stroke

Infographics Related to Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention

Understanding Stroke Risk in Women

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Understanding Stroke Risk in Women: Are You at Risk? In the United States, 1 in 5 women will have a stroke. Each year, stroke kills 2x as many women as breast cancer. Not all women are equally affected by stroke. African-American women are more likely than other groups of women to have a stroke, mainly because of having high blood pressure, being overweight or obese, and having diabetes. Women have UNIQUE RISK FACTORS for stroke. Stroke risk increases with age, and women often live longer than men. This is largely why 6 in 10 people who die from stroke are women. Stroke risk doubles in women at midlife and roughly doubles during the 10 years after menopause. Stroke risk increases during pregnancy. Taking birth control pills may double stroke risk, especially in women with high blood pressure. All women can take 5 steps to reduce their risk for high blood pressure. 1.	Know your family history. 2. Be physically active. 3. Eat a healthy diet that’s low in sodium. 4. Limit alcohol intake. 5. Avoid smoking. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke. 1 in 3 women has high blood pressure. Check your blood pressure frequently. If you have high blood pressure, work with your doctor to keep it under control. Talk to your doctor about reducing your risk of stroke. When a stroke happens, every minute counts. If you think you or someone you know may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and do the following simple test: F—Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop? A—Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? S—Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange? T—Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately. Learn more by visiting National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion; Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sources: Seshadri S, Beiser A, Kelly-Hayes M, Kase CS, Au R, Kannel WB, et al. The lifetime risk of stroke: estimates from the Framingham Study. Stroke. 2006;37:345–50. (Data also available on the American Heart Association website. Retrieved from Accessed March 30, 2015.) Bushnell C, McCullough LD, Awad IA, Chireau MV, Fedder WN, Furie KL, et al. Guidelines for the prevention of stroke in women: a statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. 2014;45(5):1545–88. George MG. October 29 is World Stroke Day! [online]. Retrieved from Accessed March 30, 2015.

Tracking Down the Salt in Food with Professor Saul T.

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Tracking down the salt in food with Professor Saul T. Too much sodium increases your risk for high blood pressure, and high blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attack and stroke. By taking the right steps to reduce your sodium intake, your blood pressure can begin decreasing within weeks. About 90% of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet. Six in 10 adults should aim for 1,500 milligrams a day; others for 2,300 milligrams. Sodium adds up, and sodium levels in the same food can vary widely. Fat free chips can have 180 milligrams per ounce; white bread, up to 230 milligrams per slice; ready-to-eat cereal, 250 milligrams per cup; chicken breast with added solution, up to 330 milligrams per 4 ounces. Foods that you eat several times a day can add up to a lot of sodium, even if each serving is not high in sodium. Read Nutrition labels to find the lowest sodium options. A bowl of regular chicken noodle soup can have 840 milligrams of sodium, but lower sodium chicken noodle soup can have 360 milligrams of sodium. Most of the sodium we eat comes from foods prepared in restaurants and processed foods (not from the salt shaker). Tips you can use to reduce sodium: Choose fresh, frozen (no sauce), or no salt added canned vegetables; Know terms that commonly indicate higher sodium content, like pickled, cured, brined, and broth; Follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan at For more tips on reducing sodium in your diet, visit This infographic is brought to you by Million Hearts®.