For women age 55 and older, the chance is one in five that they will have a stroke. The odds are one in six for men. That comes from a Framingham heart study which followed nearly 5,000 people who were healthy at age 55. They were checked at two year intervals until they had a stroke. Some of the patients were well into their 80's. Researchers still say a major risk factor for stroke is high blood pressure. This study also found that the lifetime risk for Alzheimer's Disease is one in four for women and one in six for men.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the U.S. It effects an estimated 700,000 people each year, according to the American Stroke Association. This study was conducted at Boston University A School of Medicine and is being presented at the annual American Stroke Association in San Diego.
A new study brings troubling news about the rate of depression among girls in their late teens. This was a four year study that followed more than 1.300 boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 19. Researchers say girls were twice as likely as boys to suffer depression and 25% of girls between 16 and 19 suffered a major bout of depression during the study period.
A number of studies have found girls more prone to depression, since most people think of adolescence as a time for disappointments, but researchers say they were surprised to discover a high rate of depression in the later teen years among girls. The study also found smoking increased the risk of depression in both boys and girls.
Researchers note that there is no complete understanding why there is such a difference in depression rates among the sexes. Some studies have suggested hormones and genetics may play a role.
Depression was defined as experiencing several symptoms over a prolonged length of time, including fatigue, irritability, inability to make decisions, sleeping problems, a lack of interest in day-to-day activities and suicidal thoughts.
The study was conducted at the University of Alberta and is published in the Journal of International Behavioral Development.
Hope you've escaped the flu, but we're still stuck in flu season until March. Researchers spend all year looking for better ways to fight the flu. Now, an alternative to Flu-Mist is on its way for people who can't tolerate that immunization because it's a live virus. Instead, another nasal spray called Fluinsure, made by Bio-medical, is a non-living virus currently in clinical tests in Canada. The placebo controlled study started in December at 25 sites across Canada and will finish in April. Hopefully, so Americans will have a new option when flu season rolls around again next year.