Helping you make better health choices

In shops now or delivered to your home from only £3.50 an issue!


Women and stroke

MagazineOctober 1996 (Vol. 7 Issue 7)Women and stroke

There is a perception among physicians and the public that stroke and heart disease are disorders affecting men, usually elderly men (NE J Med, 1991, 325:274-6)

There is a perception among physicians and the public that stroke and heart disease are disorders affecting men, usually elderly men (NE J Med, 1991, 325:274-6). Although in middle age the death rate from coronary heart disease is five times higher for men than women, in old age the rates become similar when heart disease is the leading cause of death for women as well as men.

Women live longer than men and comprise 64 per cent of the population over the age of 75 (JAMA, 1992; 268:1417-22). Yet women and those over 65 are often excluded from research into heart disease and stroke. Several of the most well known research projects into cardiovascular disease have not included women (Women and Health Research, National Academy Press, 1994). Older people and women are often passed over by researchers because they complicate things: older people may have other health problems and may be taking other medicines which would interfere with the "purity" of a study's findings; women have a different chemical make up from the male "gold standard").Women, in particular are at risk of stroke from an increased number of medical causes. For instance, it has long been known that the contraceptive pill increases the likelihood of stroke. A low dose pill (50 micrograms of estrogen) can treble a woman's risk of thromboembolism (BMJ, 1996; 312:83-8; Lancet, 1995; 346:1375-82; see also WDDTY, vol 4 no 7). HRT carries a similar risk. According to US research, women taking drugs for heart conditions run a greater risk of developing torsades de pointes a sudden quickening of the heart beat rate (JAMA, Dec 1, 1993). There may also be a gender bias in the way women are treated for heart disease (NE J Med, 1991; 325:129-35; NE J Med, 325:221-5). Women are less likely to be offered surgery and more likely to be offered drugs (thrombolytics, diuretics, anti platelets) for treatment of heart disease, and these have been shown to increase the likelihood of a fatal stroke (see box, p 2).

Yoghurt risky for ovarian cancer?

Take two aspirin?

You may also be interested in...

Sign up for free today

Sign up now to get your FREE 17-point Plan to Great Health

Free membership gives you access to our latest news reports, use of our community area, forums, blogs, readers' health tips and our twice-weekly
e-news letter.

WDDTY Recommends

Latest Tweet


Since 1989, WDDTY has provided thousands of resources on how to beat asthma, arthritis, cancer, depression and many other chronic conditions.

Start by looking in our fully searchable database, active and friendly community forums and the latest health news.

Positive SSL Wildcard

Facebook Twitter

Most Popular Health Website of the Year 2014

© 2010 - 2016 WDDTY Publishing Ltd.
All Rights Reserved