Women Have a Higher Risk of Stroke - Text Version

Updated:Feb 5,2014

Women Face Higher Risk of Stroke
The New guideline offers ways to lower your risk

Talk to your healthcare provider about how to lower your risk, using the below information:

FACT: 1 in 5 WOMEN has a STROKE at some point in her life.

Stroke RISK GOES UP due to:


LOWER YOUR RISK for stroke by:



About 3 out of 10,000 pregnant women have a stroke during pregnancy compared to 2 out of 10,000 young women who are not pregnant.

Pregnant women with very high blood pressure should be treated with safe blood pressure medications.

This is a term for high blood pressure that develops during pregnancy, and it doubles the risk of stroke later in life.

Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you should follow the guideline recommendation of low-dose aspirin starting in the second trimester (week 12) to lower preeclampsia risk.

Birth Control Pills

May double the risk of stroke, especially in women with high blood pressure.

Women should be screened for high blood pressure before taking birth control pills. Women should not smoke, and they should also be aware that smoking and the use of oral contraceptives increases the risk of stroke.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Once thought to lower stroke risk, this in fact increases the risk.

Hormone replacement therapy should not be used to prevent stroke in postmenopausal women.

Migraines with Aura + Smoking

Strokes are more common in women with migraines with aura who also smoke.

Smokers who have migraines with aura should quit to avoid higher stroke risk.

Atrial Fibrillation

Quadruples stroke risk and is more common in women than men after age 75.

All women over age 75 should be screened for atrial fibrillation.


  • About 55,000 more women than men have a stroke each year.
  • Stroke is the #3 Cause of Death in Women and #4 Cause of Death in Men.
  • Number of STROKE DEATHS IN ONE YEAR: (from 2010, the most recent year the statistics are available)
  • Women: 77,109
  • Men: 52, 367

Do you know how to identify a stroke and when emergency help is needed?
Learn how to spot a stroke F.A.S.T. at StrokeAssociation.org/warningsigns

View the Stroke – Women at Risk Infographic.