Stroke is the third leading cause of death in women, but many are unaware of warning signs and symptoms that are unique to females, a new study says.
Of 1,000 women surveyed, only one in 10 was aware that hiccups that occur with unusual chest pain is an early warning sign of stroke in women, said researchers from Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, in Columbus.
Although men and women share some risk factors for stroke — such as smoking, being sedentary and having high blood pressure — others are specific to women, the researchers explained.
But only 11 percent of women polled knew that pregnancy, lupus, migraine headaches, birth-control pills and hormone replacement therapy increase their stroke risk, the study found.
“I think we have a ways to go when it comes to educating women about stroke and their unique risk factors,” Dr. Diana Greene-Chandos, a neurologist and director of neuroscience critical care, said in a medical center news release.
“Things like pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy and even something as trivial as a case of the hiccups can all play an important role when it comes to strokes in women, and we need to be more aware of it,” she added.
Other stroke symptoms the researchers say are unique to women include:
- dizziness not associated with vertigo,
- numbness over the entire body that is more severe on one side
- trouble seeing in one eye or both.
“Women may have more headaches with their strokes. They actually can have hiccups with a little bit of chest pain with their stroke symptoms, sometimes sending them down the pathway of looking for…