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Stroke is a major disease in women, having a huge impact on morbidity, mortality and health-care expenditure. Undoubtedly, it is related to aging and occurs mainly in old people, but does it have any gender-specific characteristics? A new guideline from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association focuses on the risk factors unique to women, such as reproductive factors, and those that are more common in women, including migraine with aura, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and atrial fibrillation [1]. The document provides current evidence, research gaps, and recommendations on risk of stroke related to pre-eclampsia, oral contraceptives, menopause, and hormone replacement, as well as those risk factors more common in women. The conclusion of the guideline points at the need to more accurately reflect the risk of stroke in women across the lifespan, and perhaps even create a female-specific stroke risk score.


  • Amos Pines
    Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel


  1. Bushnell C, McCullough LD, Awad IA, et al. Guidelines for the prevention of stroke in women: a statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke 2014 Feb 6. Epub ahead of print
  2. Rocca WA, Grossardt BR, Miller VM, Shuster LT, Brown RD Jr. Premature menopause or early menopause and risk of ischemic stroke. Menopause 2012;19:272-7
  3. Henderson VW, Lobo RA. Hormone therapy and the risk of stroke: perspectives 10 years after the Womens Health Initiative trials. Climacteric 2012;15:22934
  4. Kurth T, Diener HC. Migraine and stroke: perspectives for stroke physicians. Stroke 2012;43:34216
  5. Kurth T, Gaziano JM, Rexrode KM. Prospective study of body mass index and risk of stroke in apparently healthy women. Circulation 2005;111:19928
  6. Berger JS, Roncaglioni MC, Avanzini F, et al. Aspirin for the primary prevention of cardiovascular events in women and men: a sex-specific meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. JAMA 2006;295:30613
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