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Gender and Stroke Risk for Elderly

According to the American Stroke Association, age is the primary risk factor for stroke, with risk doubling for each decade of age after we turn 55. In addition to this age-related risk, a 2007 study published in Geriatrics and Aging found significant gender differences regarding stroke risk among those older than age 65.

According to this 2007 study, stroke risk is higher for men between the ages of 65 and 75. Men and women have similar risk between ages 75 and 85, after which the stroke risk for women is higher than that of men. In addition, the lifetime risk of stroke is higher for women (21 percent) than that of men (17 percent). Women also tend to show higher disability and death rates after stroke, potentially because they tend to have a stroke at a later age than men.

Regardless of the gender-based differences in stroke risk for seniors, there are plenty of ways that seniors can reduce risk. Home Care Assistance of Redondo Beach recommends that seniors and older adults strive to eat well-balanced diets that are heavy on fresh fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and lean protein, and low in fatty foods, red meat and sodium. If your aging parent or loved one is overweight or obese, he or she should strive for a healthy body mass index (BMI). Exercise is also important for seniors provided they are healthy enough; even a 30 minute walk each day can lower stroke risk.

The National Stroke Association also notes that smoking doubles the risk for stroke when compared to nonsmokers, regardless of age or gender. Therefore, it’s important for families of aging loved ones to encourage them to eliminate smoking from one’s daily routine. Even for seniors who have been smoking for years, previous studies have shown that five to fifteen years after kicking the habit, a former smoker’s stroke risk drops to that of people who have never smoked a cigarette.

Although the gender and age related risks reported in the study cannot be controlled, seniors should focus on managing controllable risk factors in order to lower their stroke risk. If your aging parent or loved one requires assistance with managing and carrying out the lifestyle changes needed to reduce stroke risk, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Redondo Beach today. Our highly trained and compassionate hourly and live-in Redondo Beach caregivers can help with nutritious meal preparation, daily exercise activities, personal care, medication reminders and so much more.

For more information on stroke care in Redondo Beach, call 310-303-2530 and find out how our exceptional caregivers are helping seniors prevent and recover from strokes.