Women Can Eat Chocolate To Reduce Stroke Risk

A new study has wonderful news for women chocolate lovers.  Researchers report women enjoy health benefits from eating more chocolate.

According to an article appearing in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology women with the highest chocolate consumption, on average at least two candy bars per week had a twenty percent less likelihood of stroke.

The researchers studied nearly 35,000 women who did not have any medical history of stroke, heart disease, cancer or diabetes.  The women were all between the ages of 49 and 83.   The scientists studied over 350 different dietary and lifestyle indicators.

The scientists noted that cocoa, the primary ingredient in chocolate, contains flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties.  These suppress oxidation of low-density lipoprotein also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol that can cause cardiovascular disease including stroke.

“Chocolate has long been associated with positive attributes,” explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, which monitors health issues related to the risk f long term care need.   Stroke is a leading cause of claims for benefits by the eight million Americans who own long term care insurance.   “Chocolate was said to have magical powers by the Mayan’s who first used it hundreds of years ago,” Slome adds.  “This is great news for women who love the wonderful confectionary.”

The scientists reported that of the 33,000 study participants some 1,549 women had a stroke. Most of them,  around 1,200, were reported as having an ischemic stroke which means the blood vessel in the brain is blocked.  They noted that some 244 suffered from hemorrhagic strokes.

Each year, about 600,000 Americans experience their first stroke according to the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance.   “People who have had a mild stroke are five times more likely to have a stroke over the next two years than the general population,” reports one scientist affiliated with the research. “Proper treatment and management of risk factors can help prevent another stroke.” 

Financial planning experts note that most people wait too long to consider their options because the right time to plan is prior to turning age 65 before medical conditions like heart disease are diagnosed or become problematic.  “The sweet spot for http://www.aaltci.org/long-term-care-insurance/ long term care insurance is between ages 52 and 64,” Slome adds.  “You do not want to wait until after a doctor has diagnosed even a mild stroke because at that point it will very likely be too late to medically qualify for this protection.”

For more information on long term care insurance, visit the Association’s Consumer Information center.

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