We found that women have a significant higher odds of presenting with nonfocal symptoms during acute stroke compared with men. Furthermore, significant sex differences were observed regarding focal stroke symptomatology. However, given the heterogeneity and poor methodological quality of our included studies, our findings should be considered as hypothesis generating. Additional research is required for more conclusive results. Future prospective cohort studies should be specifically designed to assess sex differences; should take confounding factors into account and adjust for at least age, stroke subtype, and comorbidity; and should report presenting nonfocal and focal symptoms by stroke subtype, timing, and location. Finally, studies need to assess the association between presenting symptoms and clinical diagnosis and should compare the symptoms of women and men with and without confirmed stroke to improve the diagnosis of stroke in clinical practice.
Nonstandard Abbreviations and Acronyms
GCS = Glasgow Coma Scale; ICH = intracerebral hemorrhage; OR = odds ratio; SAH = subarachnoid hemorrhage; TIA = transient ischemic attack
Sources of Funding
Dr Wermer was supported by a personal grant from ZonMw (VIDI 91717337 and Aspasia). Dr van Os was supported by a personal Dekker Junior Clinical Scientist Grant from the Dutch Heart Foundation (2018T082).
Stroke. 2022;53(2):345-354. © 2022 American Heart Association, Inc.