This fat resides in the waist, leading
to the "apple-shaped" body type known to
be more prone to stroke and heart
"Large waist size has been shown to
be a predictor of stroke under 65 in the
past," Towfighi said, adding that women
may also face other risk factors that
increase their chances of stroke.
"Women have unique risk factors such
as pregnancy, birth control and hormone
replacement," she said.
Stroke Worthy of Women's Worry
But even in the face of this
increased risk, many women younger than
65 may not even be aware that they are
"Most women think of stroke as an old
woman's disease and breast cancer as a
young woman's disease," Bottinger said.
"Two times as many women die of stroke
than breast cancer. Still, 10 times as
many women will die of cardiovascular
disease than breast cancer. Most of that
is due to poor detection."
"Both women and general practitioners
underestimate women's heart problems,"
Towfighi said. "There have been many
studies in the past that have shown
doctors feel men are at higher risk."
So how can women protect themselves?
It appears that the single most
important thing women can do is to watch
Women should "keep their weight in
line," Bottinger said.
"Keep that waist size less than 35
inches! Low-cal and low saturated fat,
low cholesterol diet. Exercise daily for
30 minutes," she said.
Women in this age group must also be
diligent in keeping their regular
appointments with their doctors,
"It's really important to pay
attention to the risk factors at an
earlier age," she said. "Starting in the
30s, we suggest regular checkups with
your physician. We recommend lifestyle
changes like a heart-healthy diet and
exercise 30 minutes a day." Olive
oil is a must use it avoids strokes,