PNS Daily Newscast - April 24, 2019 

The Supreme Court considers U.S. Census citizenship question – we have a pair of reports. Also on the Wednesday rundown: A look at how poor teacher pay and benefits can threaten preschoolers' success. And the Nevada Assembly votes to restore voting rights for people who've served their time in prison.

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Study Warns Midlife Women: Lose Weight or Risk a Stroke

March 2, 2010

VANCOUVER, Wash. - For some time now medical research has pointed to women's increased risk of stroke as they age. Women ages 35 to 64 who were tested in a new study had lower blood pressure and better overall blood chemistry than men of the same age, but were found almost three times more likely to have a stroke. The difference? The women in the study had more abdominal fat than the men.

The findings don't surprise Dr. Bob Djergaian, who helps rehabilitate stroke victims as director of the Rehabilitative Services and Comprehensive Stroke Center, Southwest Washington Medical Center, and who is seeing more and younger women with heart problems. He believes stress might also be a factor, as many women juggle jobs and care-giving at midlife, and tend to put themselves last. He says economic stresses don't help, either.

"Unfortunately, we're seeing too many people who can't afford health care, can't afford medication, and they're not doing anything about it from that perspective. There's the issue of fast foods being cheaper and being less healthy."

Dr. Djergaian's stroke patients tell him they never thought it could happen to them, even though they knew they weren't eating right or getting enough exercise. He advises patients to be mindful of all of the risk factors, not just weight and excercise.

"That's especially for people who have a family history of stroke and heart disease, looking at their diet, absolutely. Stop smoking, if they're smoking. Make sure their diabetes is under control, if they have it."

Dr. Bob Djergaian says one of his team's toughest challenges is getting people, even after they've had strokes, to stay active and keep the weight off.

"I think it's a major issue, and I think it's one of the issues that reflects why there's probably a higher incidence of stroke in the Northwest, both in men and women."

The state Health Department estimates between 24 and 29 percent of Washington women are obese, and 3,000 Washingtonians die from strokes every year.

The national study is from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WA