Women at higher risk of stroke than men: research

More than 62,000 strokes occur in Canada each year, with 30,200 of those being in women

A woman in Canada has a stroke every 17 minutes. That’s 85 women each day, 18 of whom will die.

Women face a greater risk of stroke compared to men, the Heart & Stroke Foundation said in a new study Tuesday, although research on the life-altering attack and how it changes based on gender is a relatively new field.

“We have seen amazing improvement in stroke awareness, care, treatment and research over the past 20 years,” CEO Yves Savoie said in a news release.

“But unfortunately, women are not benefiting equally from this progress. There are opportunities throughout women’s lives, depending on their risk, age and circumstances, where they can be better informed, receive more timely care and treatment and be strongly supported to recover to the fullest.”

While a stroke can happen to anyone at any age, and vary depending on severity, type, cause and effect, the health risk is disproportionately affecting women.

“More women die of stroke, women have worse outcomes after stroke, more women are living with the effects of stroke, and they face more challenges as they recover,” the study says.

More than 62,000 strokes occur in Canada each year, with 30,200 of those being in women.

Meanwhile, women are 35 per cent more likely to die within one year of a stroke and 24 per cent more likely to die within five years after a stroke.

When women survive a stroke, the report says, their activity and physical and mental well-being is lower, likely because most of them assume the caregiver role at home, and the lifestyle change after a stroke is more drastic.

Certain health factors increase stroke risk, which women see more of

According to research on strokes in both men and women, factors such as high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythm, high cholesterol, diabetes, unhealthy diet and weight, smoking, stress and excessive alcohol use and drug abuse all increase the risk of a stroke.

Those can be controlled or maintained, but factors such as age and family history cannot. Women are less likely to be aware of their own personal risk factors, which can limit early intervention.

Pregnancy and menopause are particular periods when women face the greatest risk, as well as during their older years.

Indigenous women most affected by strokes because of their higher rates of high blood pressure and diabetes. Other barriers include their access to diagnosis, treatment and support.

Remote and isolated communities face real challenges accessing timely life-saving acute stroke treatment as well as recovery support, the report says.

The foundation called on healthcare systems to maintain a gendered lens when reviewing stroke cases and preventative programs, to further fund health research on strokes, and to make rehabilitation and recovery services accessible and culturally relevant for those living in rural and remote areas.

It urged women to learn their risks when it comes to the chances of a stroke, and talk to their doctor about any questions.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Port Clements gets cell service

Telus built a $500,000 wireless communication site for the remote Haida Gwaii village

Identifying child care space needs on the island

B.C. government is providing a $25,000 grant for more than 70 communities to help improve daycare

Northwest mobile unit to help those at heart of mental health, addiction crisis

Province, Northern Health unveils new unit in Terrace to bridge gaps in services

Sk’aadgaa Naay slips in Fraser Institute elementary school rankings

The school stayed at a rating of 5, but slipped to 694th rank in 2017/18

B.C. First Nations’ intake of essential nutrients to drop by 31 per cent: study

Professors project the nutrient decrease by 2050 if climate change mitigation continues as is

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Story of Wet’suwet’en Chief Alfred Joseph being told

Song of the Earth on Chief Gisday’wa will be launched in Hagwilget

Houston woman gets two years for aggravated assault

Ewald pleads guilty; trial of co-accused Calvin Dyrland begins in Smithers B.C. court

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

Most Read