Life Lessons: Women and strokes

Posted: 5:00 AM EDT May 22, 2013

May is National Stroke Awareness month and according to the National Stroke Association, over 400,000 women experience a stroke every year and at least one out of five of those women die.

Sometimes we think of stroke as just a disease for the elderly. But studies now show that strokes are on the rise in young women.

The numbers say strokes in this age group are up by up to 40-percent.

So, there are a few things every woman should know about this health risk.

According to the National Stroke Association, not every stroke victim has the classic risk factors.

In fact, migraines could be a sign of stroke. They are vascular headaches that cause blood vessels to spasm. The spasms can cause blood-flow loss to the brain and create clotting, increasing a woman's risk for stroke by three to six times.

Yoga lovers, watch your neck!

The neck has major arteries that transport blood to the brain. Sudden movements that extend it too far can cause a blood clot.

Finally, a new study shows that one soda a day increases the risk of stroke in women by 83 percent.

The National Stroke Association points out that anyone can have a stroke no matter your age, race or gender.

But they say there are risk factors like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and alcohol and tobacco use that you can control.