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What women need to know about stroke

A woman sits on a couch taking notes on a pad of paper.

Nov. 24, 2023—Stroke is a serious health issue for both men and women. But strokes are more common and deadlier in women than in men, according to the American Heart Association. In fact, almost 60% of people who die from stroke are women.

One possible reason? Women who experience a stroke may have symptoms that are subtle enough to be missed or ignored. As a result, women may delay getting lifesaving, time-sensitive treatments.

With fast treatment, a stroke can be reversed. But if a person doesn't receive treatment quickly enough, it can result in long-term brain damage, disability or death.

Know the signs of a stroke

Warning signs of a stroke for both men and women include face drooping or numbness, arm weakness, and trouble speaking. These stroke symptoms usually strike suddenly.

But women who are having a stroke can experience different warning signs as well, such as:

  • Overall weakness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Confusion.
  • Trouble remembering things.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.

These signs may be more subtle than the classic ones. As a result, women may be more likely to dismiss them.

What women should do

Take note of any symptoms that come on suddenly and without an obvious reason. It's better to call 911 right away if you suspect a stroke than to put off receiving medical care.

It's also a good idea to learn your stroke risk factors. Some of them are unique to women.

Sources

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