A national survey of 1000 women, done at Ohio State University, showed that only 11% could correctly identify female-specific early warning signs of stroke. These include: pregnancy, oral contraception, lupus, migraine headache, dizziness, and hiccups associated with atypical chest pain. Women also were unaware of particular post-stroke problems in women, which include nerve damage, speech difficulties, and depression, which often impedes participation in rehabilitation services.
Other symptoms, which are shared with men, are more easily identified. These are: high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, and uncontrolled diabetes mellitus.
These findings are concerning, especially since at least 60 percent of stroke deaths occur in women. Since May is Stroke Awareness Month, SGWHC is spreading the word about this very important message. And remember that “time is brain” and it is very important to get emergency care and medication within 3 hours of a stroke in order to preserve brain tissue and prevent further damage.