Did you know that more women die from strokes every year than men? It’s true and it’s just one of the reasons Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is a huge advocate of women’s preventive health care. In fact, every BCBSNC health plan offers preventive care covered at 100%, including a variety of services especially aimed at keeping women healthy.
When it comes to the risk of stroke, although some factors such as smoking, diabetes or obesity do not discriminate against age or gender, others do and there are some risks that are unique to women. The following is a list of some of those special risks:
Hypertension: Almost 75% of people who have a stroke also suffer from hypertension and more than half of the adults with hypertension are women. As women get older, their risk becomes higher than men and unfortunately, high blood pressure has no signs or symptoms. It’s important to make sure you get regular check-ups, including a check of your blood pressure, on an annual basis.
Birth Control Pills: Women who take birth control pills could be twice as likely to suffer a stroke than those who do not. Typically, birth control pills can cause a stroke by triggering a blood clot in the vessel system. It’s important to get screened for hypertension before choosing a birth control pill, as hypertension can be a secondary cause of stroke.
Pregnancy: Preeclampsia is a form of high blood pressure that occurs during pregnancy and it can double your risk for stroke later in life. Women who suffer hypertension before or during pregnancy may need to take medications to lower blood pressure to lower their risk of stroke.
Soda Pop: Soda has been documented as a major cause of weight gain, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and heart disease, but a 2012 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition cited the link between sodas and stroke. They study discovered that people who drink one or more soda a day have a 16% higher chance of suffering a stroke than those who don’t. A good alternative to soda can be sparkling water or decaf coffee.
Atrial Fibrillation: Although women are tend to develop this condition later in life than men, they are more likely to have a stroke and die because of it. Atrial Fibrillation is a condition in which the top chambers of the heart beat irregularly, causing blood to thicken and form a clot which resides in the atrium. However, if the clot breaks free, it can enter other organs and cause a stroke.
Whether or not you are at risk for stroke, it’s important to maintain your health through preventive care maintenance. Regular check-ups are a vital part of your overall well-being and Blue Cross Blue Shield has you covered! If you are currently uninsured, consider enrolling in a BCBSNC health plan and begin a preventive care regimen. If you are already a member, take advantage of the preventive care benefits built into your Blue Cross Blue Shield NC health coverage.
For more information on Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina insurance coverage, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents. CLICK HERE to apply online in 8 minutes or less.