Black women’s health remains at risk. The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention revealed one out of five women will endure a stroke in their life. Studies have shown, women have a higher risk of stroke, particularly Black women and young women.

Why Black Women Are Suffering 

Photo credit: Klaus Nielsen

Studies have shown Black women are twice as likely to suffer a stroke than their white counterparts. Dr Eliza Miller is Columbia Irving University Medical Center’s neurologist. In an interview with Health Matters, Miller said Black women have a higher risk of complications such as high blood pressure, weight-related issues, diabetes, and high-risk pregnancies, than white women.

 The neurologist points to the environments some Black women are raised in as a possible cause. According to Miller, Black women suffer from high blood pressure due to, in part, living in a prejudice and discriminatory society. She says systematic biases “lead to inflammation and stress hormones.” Also, many Black women don’t have accessible health care which leads to other health factors like hypertension and high cholesterol.  

Overall, women live longer than men. Miller said the longer you stay alive, the longer diseases like a stroke can happen. However, the doctor says, in the last few years, high blood pressure in younger people has increased. Risks for strokes are tripled in pregnant women due to gestational clots and preeclampsia. 

Ways to Combat This Disease 

Photo credit: Klaus Nielsen

Miller advises Black women and young women to practice holistic care to decrease chances of a stroke. She said women should regularly check their cardiovascular health, including blood pressure and cholesterol. The CDC recommends over two hours of aerobic exercise to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Following a healthy diet and limiting alcohol are also suggested. Additionally, regular sleep can decrease the risk of high blood pressure and weight gain.