Report Shows Women More Likely To Suffer From Stroke

A new report from the Heart and Stroke Foundation shows women are far more likely to suffer from a stroke in their lifetime than men.

It shows more women die of stroke than men, more women are living with the effects of stroke, they have worse outcomes and they face more challenges as they recover.

Dr.  Michael Winger spoke with AM800's Patty Handysides on The Afternoon News — he's the Medical Director of the Windsor-Essex District Stroke Centre and says women have more of the common stroke factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, and smoking.

"Taking birth control pills increases the risk of stroke and blood clot formation, pregnancy increases the risk of having strokes at about two or three times risk, and post-menopausal women using hormone replacement therapy," he says.

The predisposition for certain types of headaches can combine with common factors to create ideal conditions for a stroke, he added.

"About 80% of migraine patients are women, especially if they smoke and take birth control pills, they're at a significantly higher risk for having a stroke."

He says a major factor is the increase of risky behaviour among women.

"Although the incidents of smoking is dropping in men, it's actually increasing in women, so there are a lot of factors that come together to put women at a higher risk factor for stroke."

Winger adds symptoms can vary and strokes tend to happen younger in women than men as well.

— with files from AM800's Patty Handysides