Although men are at higher risk of stroke throughout most of their lifespan, the incidence of stroke in women climbs with age, increasing after menopause and rising sharply after 85 years. This, combined with women’s longer life expectancy, results in most of the stroke deaths occurring in women. In addition to accounting for a larger proportion of strokes, women may also suffer a survival disadvantage, which may be due to several factors. In many families, women are the primary caretakers. When they become disabled, there may be limited options to care for them. Others suggest that some of the disparities in stroke outcomes in women may be related to age, pre-stroke functional status, and comorbidities. Regardless of the cause, the increased disability and post-stroke care requirements of women, particularly in our aging population, highlight the importance of determining successful strategies for stroke prevention, acute stroke treatments, optimization of stroke rehabilitation, and effective secondary prevention measures in women.
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