Most people think of stroke as an older person’s condition, but many younger women may be at risk of having a stroke—and not even know it. In this video, Suzanne Steinbaum, DO, author of Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum’s Heart Book: Every Woman’s Guide to a Heart Healthy Life and Bottom Line’s “At the Heart of It All” blog, explains that younger women face an increased risk for stroke due to pregnancy and/or high blood pressure. During pregnancy, estrogen levels rise dramatically. This hormone is related to blood clotting, so an increase in estrogen can potentially lead to a stroke. Younger women who suffer from high blood pressure also are at risk of having a stroke. To counteract these negative factors, women should follow their doctor’s advice, particularly in the case of pregnancy.

Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum is a cardiologist, author and spokesperson for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Campaign. She has devoted her career to treating heart disease through early detection, education and prevention. For more great tips from Dr. Steinbaum, check out her other videos and Bottom Line blog, At The Heart Of It All.