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Why Women Have a Higher Risk of Stroke

by | Jul 31, 2023

Women have a higher stroke risk due to a combination of biological, hormonal, and lifestyle factors that interact to create a unique set of risk factors in comparison to men. As a woman, you might have unique risk factors, including pregnancy or menopause. Stroke specialist, Dr. Manish Taneja, explains why and what you can do to reduce the risk. 

Two smiling beautiful women

Understanding the Risk of Stroke in Women

According to SingHealth, one person gets a stroke every hour in Singapore. If you look at risk factors for stroke, stroke is a fairly common condition. Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability and the 4th leading cause of death. 3.65% of population has had stroke in Singapore with 26 new stroke cases daily.

Read our “Stroke Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment: A Complete Guide” blog post to stay informed about the types of stroke, symptoms, screening, diagnosis, treatment options, stroke management, and more. 

Dr. Manish Taneja: Stroke and brain aneurysms is becoming increasingly prevalent among the youth as well and more younger females experience additional symptoms such as headaches from their late teens to their 20s. Normal headaches like migraine are common but there can be severe headaches which can be different and serve as warning signs. As a practitioner, I have become quite familiar with the demographics of stroke patients. Typically, in the younger age group of 30s-40s, females are more dominant. However, strokes come in different types, and we often see younger females in their late 30s and early 40s affected by aneurysms or other uncommon vascular conditions. It’s important to note that aneurysms are still fairly common in young people.

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Aneurysm post can help you learn about the brain aneurysm causes, symptoms, and treatments for this potentially life-threatening condition.

Why are Women More at Stroke Risk than Men? 

  • Women on average live longer than men.
  • While in age groups that are 45 and above, men have a higher risk of stroke, women in the younger group actually have a higher risk in stroke during their reproductive years.
  • High blood pressure has a stronger effect on stroke risk in women. Pregnancy can triple the risk of stroke in women coupled with high blood pressure that is associated with higher risk of stroke. You may develop elevated blood pressure in pregnancy or postpartum called hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.
  • Oral contraceptives and post-menopausal hormone therapy can also women’s stroke risk. Preeclampsia, eclampsia or gestational diabetes are associated with a higher risk of stroke.
  • Atrial fibrillation (quivering or irregular heartbeat) 

 

Why is Stroke Becoming Prevalent Among Women Especially in the Younger Demographics?

Dr. Manish Taneja: While it is more common for younger females to experience strokes due to aneurysms or uncommon vascular conditions, males can also suffer from strokes. However, the pattern of stroke in males tends to be more related to blockages in the blood vessels in the brain, which can be due to congenital factors or years of smoking.

The two main types of strokes are blockage vessel and rupture in the brain, and young people can experience both or either of them. Therefore, strokes can occur in both males and females and can have different causes and patterns. Find out more in our article, “How Brain Aneurysms Affect Stroke Risk“, on how a brain aneurysm can affect stroke risk leading to to a type of stroke called a hemorrhagic stroke.

Women’s Additional Unique Risk Factors for Stroke

According to American Heart Association’s journal, the additional stroke risk factors that are specific to women include:

  • Low levels of the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEAS)
  • The onset of menstruation before age 10
  • The onset of menopause before age 45 (either natural or surgical)
  • Use of hormonal contraceptives (oral, transdermal or vaginal)
  • Pregnancy complications including pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes

Find answers to commonly asked brain aneurysm and stroke questions from our female patients with Dr. Manish Taneja.

Be F.A.S.T. and Spot Stroke 

The good news is most strokes can be prevented and is fully treatable.

 

  • Understand your risk by having an evaluation of your risk factors for stroke. Some can be controlled and treated while others are not.
  • Know your blood pressure and keep it in a healthy range. High blood pressure is the No. 1 preventable cause of stroke.
  • Talk to your health care professional about ways to improve your well-being and help prevent stroke.
  • Learn how to recognize stroke F.A.S.T. If you spot face drooping, arm weakness or speech difficulty, it’s time call 9-9-5 immediately if you or a loved one is experiencing stroke symptoms.
BE FAST - Stroke symptoms

The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic Offers Stroke Screening, Prevention, and Management

With our commitment to your well-being, the Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic provides a comprehensive range of treatments backed by the latest advancements in medical science for stroke. Strokes are a serious medical condition that require immediate attention. Our stroke specialist in Singapore, Dr. Manish Taneja, has a dedicated stroke screening program designed to identify individuals who may be at risk of a stroke or have already experienced one, even if they are not yet showing symptoms. From advanced interventions to personalized management and prevention programs, we will work closely with you and your loved ones to create a tailored plan. Contact us today at Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic in Singapore.

How Brain Aneurysms Affect Stroke Risk

A brain aneurysm is a weak or bulging area in the wall of an artery in the brain. When an aneurysm ruptures or bursts, it can lead to a type of stroke called a hemorrhagic stroke.

Consult a Stroke Specialist in Singapore

Dr. Manish Taneja, is an expert in endovascular and image guided neurointerventional procedures of brain and spine. He has special interest in treatment of brain aneurysms, stroke and vascular malformations. Come in for a further evaluation and arrange an appointment today with our stroke specialist.

 

Dr. Manish Taneja performing surgery

Stroke Resources

Stroke in Younger Adults: What You Need to Know

Most experts consider young stroke to pertain to individuals under the age of 45. Today, there is a growing trend of younger and middle-aged adults suffering from stroke. 

young woman enjoying barbecue outdoors with friends

We’ve Got You Covered for Specialized Stroke Screening, Prevention, and Management

Imagine heart attacks where the blood flow to your heart is blocked. Similarly, a stroke occurs when the blood flow to your brain is interrupted becoming a “brain attack”. When blood supply does not reach a certain part, brain cells begin to die. Different types of stroke include ischemic strokes (blockage of blood vessel due to blood clot) or a mini stroke, a TIA (transient ischemic attack), with no permanent damage yet serious. Stroke also occurs when a blood vessel in the brain pops causing bleeding in the brain.

Certain areas of the brain can be affected by stroke and some symptoms of a stroke including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood sugar levels increase the risk of stroke whereas an active lifestyle or controlling high cholesterol reduces the risk. How well do you know stroke? Find tips to prevent and manage stroke, the differences in stroke screening tests, and the newer technology and treatments available. Come in for an easy consultation and further evaluation with our stroke specialist in Singapore at the Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic. 

Supreme Vascular and Interventional Stroke Programs

Brain Aneurysm Resources

Discover brain aneurysm resources that go beyond the basics designed for patients. Understand the meaning of  a brain aneurysm condition, the causes, symptoms, signs, and more. Connect with your brain health.

Put Brain Aneurysm on Your Health Radar

Did you experience the worst headache of your life? Could it be a brain aneurysm that ruptures, which means bleeding in the brain? Thoughts could be racing through your mind. Then what is the difference between unruptured (a weak or thin spot on an artery in the brain that balloons) or ruptured brain aneurysm? If you’re wondering, then the Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is here to help. It’s important to look out for the tell-tale brain aneurysm symptoms, signs, causes, and risk factors.

Dr. Manish Taneja has been performing brain aneurysm treatments since 1995 from surgical clipping to latest minimally invasive procedures. Each patient is unique as is the size and location of the aneurysm. Your brain has different conditions to treat the aneurysm and artery vessel walls of a blood vessel in the brain. This calls for personalised brain aneurysm treatment depending on your symptoms, family, history, medication, and more. A simple CT scan could be just what the doctor ordered and the first step in early detection and prevention of a brain aneurysm. Come in for an easy consultation with our brain aneurysm specialist in Singapore to be on your health radar.

Other Health Conditions

The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is your “go-to” facility for various neurological conditions and treatments. To arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our neurointervention specialist, contact us. You can also call us at (+65) 6904 8084 for a consultation.