Strokes have tripled in recent years among middle-aged women in the U.S., an alarming trend doctors blame on the obesity epidemic.
Nearly 2 percent of women ages 35 to 54 reported suffering a stroke in the most recent federal health survey, from 1999 to 2004. Only about half a percent did in the previous survey, from 1988 to 1994.
The percentage is small because most strokes occur in older people. But the sudden spike in middle age and the reasons behind it are ominous, doctors said in research presented Wednesday at a medical conference.