What do mammograms, blood-sugar tests and daytime dozing have in common? A new study suggest that all may offer clues that someone is headed for a stroke.
Higher stroke risk was seen in women with artery buildups accidentally revealed by mammograms, in non-diabetics starting to have insulin problems, and in older people who tend to nod off a lot.
Doctors say people should not panic if they have one of these signs. But if grandma falls asleep in front of the TV all the time, it may be worth checking to see if she has a sleep disorder raising her risk of stroke.
Likewise, a test that rules out breast cancer may give a valuable clue to heart disease and stroke risks, if radiologists report the findings to women and their doctors for follow-up.
Dr. Philip Gorelick, neurology chief at the University of Illinois in Chicago, says people often focus on just the cancer risk. Gorelick is chairman of the International Stroke Conference, a medical meeting in New Orleans where the studies were presented.