Women are less likely to have Minor Strokes than Men

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  • Women are less likely to have Minor Strokes than Men

    Women with minor stroke are less likely to receive an appropriate diagnosis than men when they go to the emergency department, even if they have similar symptoms, a study in Canada.

    Women are less likely to have minor strokes than men
    Women were 10% more likely to be diagnosed without stroke.
    Similar risks 90 days after diagnosis
    Led by researchers at the University of Toronto and the University of Calgary, Canada, this new work published in JAMA Neurology and presented on May 22 at the European Stroke Organization Conference ( Milan, Italy) indicate a significant difference in the diagnosis of symptoms of minor stroke (also known as transient ischemic attack ) between men and women.

    The team of scientists analyzed data from 1,648 patients received in university emergency departments in Canadian cities of Victoria and Calgary between December 2013 and March 2017 and followed for 90 days.
    " In our study, men were more likely to be diagnosed with minor stroke, and women were 10% more likely to be diagnosed without stroke, for example migraine or dizziness, even though men and women were also likely to report atypical symptoms of stroke, "says Dr. Amy Yu, MD, co-author of the study and neurologist specializing in stroke at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center at the University of Toronto.

    " Our study also found that the risk of having another stroke or heart attack within 90 days of diagnosis was the same for both women and men, " said Dr. Shelagh Coutts, a stroke neurologist and professor. Associate at the Cumming School of Medicine (CSM) at the University of Calagary and also co-author of the study.

    Similar risks 90 days after diagnosis
    How to explain such a gap? According to the physicians at the origin of the study, this could be due to a lack of precision in the declaration of symptoms by patients, to a rough interpretation of these symptoms by clinicians or to a combination of these two factors, although they specify that further research is needed to support this theory.

    The most common symptoms of stroke are sudden tiredness, facial sagging, or speech difficulties. But other, rarer disorders may herald the arrival of a stroke, such as dizziness, tingling, or mental confusion. This study shows that both men and women are concerned by these atypical symptoms of stroke.

    " What's important to recognize in stroke is that the brain has multiple functions, and when a stroke occurs, people may feel different things beyond the typical symptoms of stroke. An accurate diagnosis of TIA and stroke would change a patient's treatment plan and may help prevent another stroke, "says Dr. Yu.

    " Our findings draw attention to potential missed opportunities for women to prevent stroke, as well as other adverse vascular events, such as heart attacks ," adds Dr. Coutts.
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