For the first time ever, guidelines designed specifically for woman have been developed to help prevent stroke.
It's the third most common way women in America die, impacting thousand of women here in the Panhandle. But with the development of new guidelines, doctors hope to catch the signs early, to prevent stroke from happening.
"We are recognizing that women have to have a little different treatment in a good way that has failed to be recognized in the past," said Doctor Assadour Assadourian with the Cardiology Center of Amarillo.
The main goal for these guidelines is prevention but there are some key things that women should be aware of that put them at greater risk of having a stroke. Those include having high blood pressure, being on birth control, having migraines or an irregular heart beat.
Other risk factors include smoking, having diabetes or even being pregnant, especially when the woman already has high blood pressure. This puts women at risk for pre-eclampsia which doubles the risk for stroke and increases the risk of high blood pressure four-fold.
"What they are trying to say is treat them so a young lady who is 30 years old or 25 or 28 now and has pre-eclampsia does not become badly hypertensive at 50 or 55 or 60. Even is she was to become, we would identify it early so it gets treated," Dr. Assadourian said.
In many cases, women don't realize they are having a stroke until it's too late. Doctors are hoping the new guidelines will help bring this devastating issue to light.
Colleen Nelson - NewsChannel 10