How does stroke affect women differently than men?
Stroke affects women differently than men in several ways.
More women die from stroke than men.
- More women have strokes later in life.1
- After age 85, stroke affects many more women than men.1,2
- It is twice as common for women between 20 and 39 to have a stroke than men of the same age.1
Women have unique risk factors for stroke, such as:
- History of problems during pregnancy like gestational diabetes or preeclampsia
- Use of hormonal birth control while smoking
- Use of menopausal hormone therapy during or after menopause
Some risk factors for stroke are more common in women than in men.
- These include migraine with aura, atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), and diabetes.4
- Learn more about stroke risk factors that affect women.
- Benjamin, E. J., Virani, S. S., Callaway, C. W., Chamberlain, A. M., Chang, A. R., Cheng, S., … Muntner, P. (2018). Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2018 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation, 137, e67–e492.
- Ahnstedt, H., McCullough, L. D., & Cipolla, M. J. (2016). The Importance of Considering Sex Differences in Translational Stroke Research. Translational Stroke Research, 7(4), 261–273.
- Persky, R. W., Turtzo, L. C., & McCullough, L. D. (2010). Stroke in women: disparities and outcomes. Current Cardiology Reports, 12(1), 6–13.
- Bushnell, C. A., McCullough, L. D., Awad, I. A., Chireau, M. V., Fedder, W. N., Furie, K. L., … Walters, M. R. (2014). Guidelines for the Prevention of Stroke in Women. Stroke, 47(9).