Many people are surprised to learn the danger strokes pose to women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 women in the U.S. — that’s 20 percent — will have a stroke.

In fact, stroke is the third leading cause of death for women. When women do survive strokes, their quality of life and health are often worse than their male counterparts. Studies have shown that women are more likely to have a worse outcome and a higher prevalence of depression after a stroke, as well as experience a decrease in quality of life, compared to men. Researchers also found that a patient’s level of health before her stroke significantly impacts her recovery. This is meaningful because women are more likely to have a stroke at a later age than men, usually because they already have other health problems.

Stroke Symptoms Unique to Women

In addition to the common symptoms of stroke, the National Stroke Association notes that women may also report symptoms that include:

  • Loss of consciousness or fainting
  • General weakness
  • Difficulty or shortness of breath
  • Confusion, unresponsiveness or disorientation
  • Sudden behavioral change
  • Agitation
  • Hallucination
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain
  • Seizures
  • Hiccups

Physicians on the medical staff at Texas Health hospitals are committed to providing quality care to both male and female patients who are experiencing or have had a stroke. Educating everyone about the signs and symptoms of stroke is an important part of their mission, because in the case of stroke minutes count.

Time is of the essence when a stroke is happening. If you suspect that you or someone you know is experience stroke, minutes matter in getting that person to medical care, so call 911 immediately. Treatments are most effective when the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within the first few hours of symptoms.

Keeping Stroke at Bay

Preventing additional strokes is also a high priority, as 1 in 4 strokes are reoccurring. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the chance of a patient having another stroke within 90 days of the first is around 17 percent, with the first week holding the highest risk. This is one of the many reasons why receiving treatment quickly is so important. A patient’s doctor can help manage his/her other risk factors, prescribe necessary medication and recommend lifestyle changes and even surgery, when necessary.

Call 9-1-1 immediately if you or a loved one is experiencing stroke symptoms.

A stroke specialist on the medical staff at a Texas Health hospital can help you learn more about your risk for stroke or provide follow-up care if you’ve had a stroke.
Audrey and Katherine Smith
Young Mother Battles Strokes and More
As a 43-year-old mother of two, Audrey Smith never expected to be fighting for her life at Texas Health Plano.
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