Despite some advances, women still facing disparities when it comes to global burden of stroke

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The continued global burden of stroke and how it disproportionately affects women are highlighted in the February issue of Stroke, according to a press release from the American Heart Association (AHA). 

Stroke editors selected nine manuscripts focused on stroke disparities in women in this collaboration with Go Red for Women, the association’s global movement to end heart disease and stroke in women.

Stroke editor-in-chief, Ralph L Sacco, (McKnight Brain Institute, Miami, USA), said: “Stroke continues to be a leading cause of death and disability worldwide, with women being more adversely affected by the global burden of stroke.

“As our population ages, the number of stroke survivors will continue to rise, especially among women. We must include more women in stroke research so we can enhance the critical evidence necessary to provide the appropriate stroke treatments needed to save and improve lives.”

Two of the studies addressed concerns about the lack of women in stroke clinical trials, thus limiting information to ensure appropriate stroke treatment for women. The full nine manuscripts were as follows:

  • Why Are Women Less Represented in Intracerebral Haemorrhage Trials? – Tatiana Greige et al
  • The under-enrolment of women in stroke clinical trials: What are the causes and what should be done about it? – Cheryl Carcel; Matthew Reeves
  • Sex, age, and socioeconomic differences in non-fatal stroke incidence and subsequent major adverse outcomes – Ralph K. Akyea et al
  • Advances in Stroke: Stroke in Women – Moira K. Kapral et al
  • The female stroke – sex differences in acute treatment and early outcomes of acute ischemic stroke – Anna Bonkhoff et al
  • Absence of consistent sex differences in outcomes from symptomatic carotid endarterectomy and stenting trials – Virginia Howard et al
  • Influence of pregnancy on haemorrhage risk in women with cerebral and spinal cavernous malformations – Nycole Joseph et al
  • Sex-related differences in clinical features, neuroimaging  and long-term prognosis after transient ischemic attack – Francisco Purroy et al
  • Stroke incidence by sex across the lifespan – Manav Vyas et al

The manuscripts can be accessed in full here.

According to the AHA, stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide. More than 101 million people have a stroke each year, and more than 6.6 million people die of a stroke, annually. About one in four stroke survivors will experience another stroke within five years.

Sacco added: “The papers highlighted in this issue feature international research and perspective from more than half a dozen countries,” said Sacco. “This collective work from some of the most renowned scientists in the field offers important insight, recommendations and guidance for addressing this critical topic.

“We are pleased to publish this important research to enhance our understanding of the unique differences in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of stroke in women. Our essential goal is to prevent stroke, reduce disability and ultimately save lives; education and awareness are critical first steps.”


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