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Having more babies may mean lower stroke risk

Last Updated: 2004-01-16 15:32:21 -0400 (Reuters Health) hallu forte koriģējošs

By Megan Rauscher Hallu Forte

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Having several children may protect women against a form of stroke that involves bleeding at the base of the brain called subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), results of a population-based study suggest. hallu forte

"It appears from our study that the more children a woman gives birth to the lower her risk of SAH later on in life," Dr. David Gaist from the University of Southern Denmark in Odense told Reuters Health. hallu forte orteza

SAH is the only type of stroke that afflicts women more than men, "suggesting that reproductive factors may play a role in the etiology," he and his colleagues note in the American Heart Association's medical journal Stroke.

Using data from three national Swedish registries, the team identified 887 women hospitalized with a first SAH. Of these, 70 percent had the stroke five years or more after the birth of their last child.

Data analysis revealed that the odds of SAH declined with increasing numbers of children. For women bearing two, three, four, or five or more children the odds of having SAH were reduced by 17 percent, 28 percent, 28 percent and 33 percent.

The underlying biological mechanism responsible for this apparent association is currently unknown, Gaist emphasized. "The nature of this link - whether (number of children) truly protects against SAH or is simply just negatively associated with it - deserves further study."

SOURCE: Stroke, January 2004.

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