According to the National Stroke Association, 55,000 more women die of stroke than men annually, which is the third leading cause of death in women.
This may seem alarming – men generally participate in unhealthy habits such as drinking and smoking, compared to women, yet women suffer more when it comes to stroke.
What is a stroke?
A stroke occurs when the brain cannot receive oxygen and nutrients from the blood due to a clot or blockage in a vein to reach the brain. Lack of oxygen and blood causes cells in the brain die.
There are several different types of strokes, depending on the cause. If there is a clot, it is called an ischemic stroke. If it is about a rupture of blood vessels, it is called a hemorrhagic stroke, and transient ischemic attack (TIA) – or mini stroke – caused by a temporary clot.
TIA or mini stroke
While the mini stroke disappears, it should be taken as a serious warning sign of things to come. Ignoring mini stroke can mean life or death. A mini stroke can last a few moments or last all day, but in any case requires emergency medical help.
Most women do not realize they are experiencing a mini stroke, so they can prevent long-term damage.
Stroke in women: causes, signs and symptoms
In all ages, men have a higher risk of stroke than women. But every year, more women than men die of stroke and the gap is widening. But what puts a woman at such a high risk?
We know that men visit the doctor less often and drink alcohol, smoke and eat unhealthy, but there are some major differences between men and women that increase the risk of stroke in women. Some of the increased risk of stroke in women is due to the fact that women tend to live longer on average than men, and stroke mortality is higher with age.
The risk of stroke in women
When it comes to be at risk of stroke there are typical risk factors that affect both genders. These are:
- Being overweight
- Lack of exercise
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Drug use, including cigarette smoking
- Cardiovascular disease.
But, there are certain risk factors for women that are unique that increase the risk of stroke in women. Some of them are:
- Taking birth control pills
- Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
- Migraine suffering
- Mental health.
As you can see, some of these risks are not related to men, but unfortunately, these are risk factors of stroke in women.
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