More women than men having mid-life stroke

Jun 20, 2007

More women than men appear to be having a stroke in middle age, according to a study published June 20, 2007, in the online edition of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Researchers say heart disease and increased waist size may be contributing to this apparent mid-life stroke surge among women.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from 17,000 people over the age of 18 who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Of the participants, 606 people experienced a stroke.

The study found women in the 45 to 54 age range were more than twice as likely as men in the same age group to have had a stroke. There were no sex differences in stroke rates found in the 35 to 44 and the 55 to 64 age groups.

“While our analysis shows increased waist size and coronary artery disease are predictors of stroke among women aged 45 to 54, it is not immediately clear why there is a sex disparity in stroke rates among this age group,” said study author Amytis Towfighi, MD, with the Stroke Center and Department of Neurology at the University of California at Los Angeles, and member of the American Academy of Neurology. “While further study is needed, this mid-life stroke surge among women suggests prompt and close attention may need to be paid to the cardiovascular health of women in their mid-30s to mid-50s with a goal of mitigating this burden.”

In addition, Towfighi says several vascular risk factors including systolic blood pressure and total cholesterol levels increased at higher rates among women compared to men in each older age group.

“For instance, with each decade, men’s blood pressure increased by an average of four to five points, whereas women’s blood pressure increased by eight to 10 points. Similarly, men had significantly higher total cholesterol levels than women at age 35 to 44, but men’s total cholesterol remained stable while women’s total cholesterol increased by 10 to 12 points with each decade, so that by age 55 to 64, women had significantly higher total cholesterol than men,” said Towfighi.

Towfighi says the study also found a greater than expected stroke surge among men who were nearing the end of middle age. Men aged 55 to 64 were three times more likely than men aged 45 to 54 to have had a stroke. Towfighi says the reasons behind this increase warrant further investigation.

Source: American Academy of Neurology

Explore further: Amgen tops Street 4Q forecasts

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The latest fashion: Graphene edges can be tailor-made

2 hours ago

Theoretical physicists at Rice University are living on the edge as they study the astounding properties of graphene. In a new study, they figure out how researchers can fracture graphene nanoribbons to get ...

Infrared imaging technique operates at high temperatures

2 hours ago

From aerial surveillance to cancer detection, mid-wavelength infrared (MWIR) radiation has a wide range of applications. And as the uses for high-sensitivity, high-resolution imaging continue to expand, MWIR sources are becoming ...

Recommended for you

Amgen tops Street 4Q forecasts

6 hours ago

Amgen Inc. cruised to a 27 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit and beat Wall Street expectations, due to higher sales of nearly all its medicines, tight cost controls and a tax benefit.

Is head CT overused in emergency departments?

Jan 26, 2015

Less than 7.1% of patients presenting to the emergency department with dizziness and 6.4% complaining of syncope or near-syncope benefited from head CT say researchers at Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Honolulu. The use of ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.