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Stroke Prevention for Women: Start Early

As new guidelines take hold, doctors are focusing on cutting risk at a younger age

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"This article is going to be very helpful in getting the message out to the primary care physicians," said Dr. Ravi Dave, director of interventional cardiology at the University of California Los Angeles Medical Center in Santa Monica.

He noted that some of the risk factors for stroke may be news to women, such as the link between depression and stroke. "I would encourage these patients with depression to get treated for it," he said.

In recent years, Dave said, researchers have been pinpointing differences in heart attack symptoms between men and women. Now, the same thing is happening with risk factors for strokes, teasing out the gender differences. For women, the message is clear, he said: Alert your doctor if you have any of these stroke risk factors, or suspect you do.

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