Are women or men more likely to have a stroke? Why?

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death after heart disease, lower respiratory disease, and cancer. Age is a major factor of causing a stroke. When one gets older, the risk of having stroke increases. There are more chances among men to have a stroke at a younger age. However, women are at a higher risk to have a stroke as compared to men. More deaths have been occurred due to stroke among women. There are many reasons for it and one of the most common facts is their life expectancy. Women live longer than men and hence are more likely to have a stroke. It is also a prominent reason for disability among women.

Other reasons for stroke among women are :

  • Birth control pills: Women who take birth control pills are at a risk of blood clots and increase blood pressure. Such women have an increased chance of having a stroke or a heart disease.
  • Menopause: When a woman reaches menopause, the production of hormones such as progesterone and estrogen produced by the body is reduced. These hormones safeguard a woman from heart disease and stroke.
  • Pregnancy: Certain conditions during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia may increase the chance of stroke or heart disease in women.
  • Cholesterol: Estrogen helps maintain the level of cholesterol among women. After menopause, they suffer from high cholesterol due to decline in the production of estrogen in the body. This may lead to stroke.
  • Migraines with Aura: A woman suffering from migraines with aura is at risk of having a stroke.
  • Atrial fibrillation: Atrial fibrillation is irregular heart rhythm. Atrial fibrillation is higher among women and is a major cause of stroke.

Women may have other symptoms of stroke, like hiccups, vomiting, hallucinations, nausea, difficulty in breathing, weakness, unconsciousness, seizures, agitation, sudden changes in behavior, etc.

It is always advisable to check for these symptoms and take medical aid to prevent stroke. Medical diagnosis is needed at an early stage for a person having a stroke, otherwise, it may lead to disability or death.