CERTAIN WELL-KNOWN stroke symptoms – like facial drooping, one-sided weakness and sudden speech slurring – are similar for men and ladies . “The worst headache I’ve had in my life” is what many stroke patients also describe.
In women, however, other signs of a stroke, also called a brain attack, aren’t always clear-cut. Unfortunately, this will cause delays in seeking medical help. When it involves starting stroke treatment, every second counts for preserving brain function.
Below, experts means better-known and fewer obvious signs that would mean stroke in women. additionally , they touch on women’s additional risk factors and stroke-prevention strategies for ladies and men alike.
[ SEE: 17 Ways Heart Health Varies in Women and Men. ]
Stroke Symptoms to understand
These are more-familiar warning signs of a possible stroke for men and women:
One-sided weakness or numbness of the face, an arm or a leg.
Speech problems: sudden slurring or trouble understanding others’ speech.
Vision changes: difficulty seeing with one or both eyes.
Sudden, excruciating headache of unknown cause.
Women, especially , may experience more subtle signs of stroke:
Sleepiness or confusion (altered mental status).
Malaise and nausea.
Vague sense of “feeling funny.”
Tingling sensation or numbness in any a part of the body.
Weakness of any a part of the body.
Balance, walking or coordination problems.
Don’t attempt to guess what these symptoms could mean. Instead, let health professionals help sort them out.
As people grow old , their risk of stroke rises. “When you look out on all age groups, (stroke incidence) may be a bit higher in men compared to women,” says Dr. Cheryl Bushnell, a professor of neurology, vice chair of research and director of the great Stroke Center at Wake Forest Baptist center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “But the most thing to stay in mind is that ladies live longer. So if you check out the lifetime risk of a stroke, it’s higher in women than men.”
A grume that forms within the system , where it’s going to block circulation to the brain, is named a thrombus. a strong medication called tPA, or tissue urokinase , can dissolve blood clots that cause ischaemic stroke and restore blood flow to the brain. Medication therapy to interrupt down a thrombus is named thrombolysis.
“It’s equally effective in men and ladies ,” says Bushnell, the author of an evidence review of studies that examined sex differences in evaluating and treating ischaemic stroke , published within the July 2018 issue of The Lancet Neurology.
Surgical procedures also help minimize the damage from a stroke. “In addition to the tPA medicine given through an IV, we’ve the power to tug the clot out with thrombectomy,” Bushnell says. “That’s the method of surgically removing the clot which is useful to both men and ladies .”
Time is of the essence for stroke treatment. “We want to form sure we recognize the stroke quickly, which patients or people on the road recognize the stroke and call 911 and obtain help as quickly as possible,” Bushnell says. “Because there’s a brief window for those medicines.”
Research included within the 2018 evidence review doesn’t necessarily show definitive gender differences in stroke treatments and outcomes. Treatment delays can involve longer times for ladies to receive imaging tests like CT scans or MRIs needed to diagnose a stroke. With less clear-cut symptoms in some cases, it’s going to take clinicians longer to think about the likelihood of a stroke. additionally , women are more apt to possess certain conditions which will mimic stroke, like migraines, that has got to be ruled out.
“If you’ve got symptoms that are more vague, it’s harder to work out what to try to to within the emergency department,” Bushnell says. “But once the stroke is recognized, generally women and men are treated about an equivalent in terms of timing.”
Bushnell’s evidence review found no significant differences in use of emergency medical services, stroke knowledge, eligibility for or access to thrombolysis or thrombectomy, or outcomes of either therapy.
“The commonest tPA exclusion criteria for ladies and men is delayed hospital arrival, and therefore the proportion of girls compared with men who arrive outside the tPA window (3 to 4.5 hours) appears to be similar in some, but not all, studies of tPA eligibility,” the evidence review found.
The higher prevalence of older women living alone was identified as a risk factor for late hospital arrival and not receiving thrombolysis treatment.