Today’s Headlines: 10 Risk Factors of a Stroke, How a Vaginal Ring Can Protect Against HIV, and an Announcement From the CDC About Gonorrhea

Researchers have found that there are 10 common conditions that could be warning signs for a stroke. While not all factors can be cured or prevented, researchers believe that knowing about them and monitoring them could prevent nine out of 10 strokes. “To estimate each risk factor’s effect on stroke risk, study authors calculated each one’s population attributable risk (PAR), a measurement used to determine how eliminating an individual risk factor could impact an overall disease burden. Study authors found that the PAR was about 48 percent for hypertension— making it the biggest risk factor for stroke— about 36 percent for physical inactivity, about 23 percent for poor diet, 19 percent for obesity, 12 percent for smoking, 9 percent for heart causes, 4 percent for diabetes, 6 percent for alcohol intake, 6 percent for stress, and 27 percent for lipids.” If you have any of these health issues, you may want to talk to your doctor about stroke risk to ensure you are taking any proper precautions. (Fox)

A study released on Monday stated that a vaginal ring can protect against HIV. While the risk of contracting HIV varies from woman to woman, the silicone ring may help decrease the risk in all women who use it. “The vaginal ring releases a drug called dapirivine, which can help stop the virus from infecting cells…On average, women’s risk of catching the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was cut by 56 percent, the team found. Women who used it the most — mostly older women — reduced the risk by at least 75 percent.” The ring was designed as a discreet tool to help women protect themselves from sexually-transmitted infections. (NBC)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that the resistance of the drug used to fight gonorrhea has increased by 400%. Gonorrhea, a sexually-transmitted disease, is relatively common in the U.S. and the number of new infections is rising. “Health officials warn that gonorrhea is growing increasingly resistant to the antibiotic azithromycin—which, when used in conjunction with the antibiotic ceftriaxone, treats the sexually transmitted disease. It is the only treatment left.” The CDC still recommends doctors treat gonorrhea patients with the same regimen but is calling for new treatments to be developed. (Time)