Which factors increase the risk of stroke in women?

Updated: Jan 10, 2016
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Risk factors specific to women that are identified in the guidelines include the following:

  • Pregnancy
  • Preeclampsia
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Oral contraceptive use
  • Postmenopausal hormone use
  • Changes in hormone status

In addition, the following risk factors are stronger or more prevalent in women:

  • Migraine with aura
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hypertension
  • Depression
  • Psychosocial stress

Given these documented differences in stroke risk between men and women, the guidelines recommend development of woman-specific stroke risk profiles to more accurately reflect a woman’s future risk of stroke than some of the currently available stroke risk scores. [12]

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