How do strokes affect men and women differently?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Although hemorrhagic strokes affect men and women in much the same way, more women than men die from strokes. In addition, subarachnoid hemorrhages, a type of hemorrhagic stroke, is more common in women than men. Subarachnoid hemorrhages usually result when an aneurysm bursts in the brain.

Stroke is an important health concern for all women, not least of all because strokes experienced by women tend to be of greater severity than those experienced by men. The older you are, the more at risk you are to experience a stroke. However, stroke can happen at any age.

Unfortunately, most women are unfamiliar with the key risk factors for stroke and may underestimate their level of risk. In fact, women are three times more likely than men to delay going to the hospital. Researchers suggest that this is largely due to the fact that women are less familiar with both their risk factors and warning signs of stroke.

It is important for women of all ages to be familiar with the warning signs of a stroke and to know what to do if they experience stroke-like symptoms. These warning signs include numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; confusion; trouble speaking or understanding others; trouble seeing in one or both eyes; dizziness; loss of coordination or balance; trouble walking and severe headache.

Stroke symptoms typically come on suddenly with no obvious cause. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should call 911 immediately. Some types of stroke need to be treated quickly, so don't delay seeking medical treatment.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.