World Stroke Day 2019- Women more likely to die from stroke

By June Shannon Stroke News   |   29th Oct 2019

World Stroke Day 2019 – despite a significant reduction in stroke deaths among women, their overall risk of death from stroke remains higher than men

On World Stroke Day (Tuesday 29 October 2019) the Irish Heart Foundation is urging women in particular to be aware of the warning signs of stroke as the latest statistics show that women are far more likely to die from their stroke than men.

While overall stroke deaths have fallen significantly more among women than men during the past decade, mainly due to major improvements to hospital stroke services, women are still at an increased risk of dying from stroke than men.

According to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), since 2010 when the HSE’s National Stroke Programme was established, the number of stroke deaths has fallen by more than 18 per cent, from 2,053 to 1,680 last year – a total of 373 fewer deaths a year. Deaths among women were down by 323 and men by just 50.

However, in 2018 in Ireland 935 women died from stroke which was more than 25 per cent higher than the 745 deaths recorded in men.

" It’s vital that everyone knows the act FAST signs,"

Chris Macey, Head of Advocacy , Irish Heart Foundation

“It is not clear why stroke deaths have fallen at a much higher rate among women than men,” said Head of Advocacy at the Irish Heart Foundation, Chris Macey. “It may be in part due to the fact that women are more likely to act on health campaigns for conditions such as high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation.

“However, we do know that as many as 5,000 stroke sufferers every year are failing to get to hospital within the time window to benefit from potentially lifesaving clot busting treatment.

“At least one in six of us will have a stroke at some time in our lives, so if you are not affected yourself it’s virtually certain that at least one of your loved ones will be. Therefore, it’s vital that everyone knows the act FAST signs. But given their considerably higher risk we are urging women in particular make a special effort on World Stroke Day to familiarise themselves with these warning signs.”

The F.A.S.T. acronym stands for:

• Face – has their face fallen on one side?
• Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there?
• Speech – is their speech slurred?
• Time – time to call 112 or 999 if you see any one of these signs.

" The average stroke destroys roughly two million brain cells every minute, so the quicker you get to hospital after a stroke, literally the more of your brain can be saved.”

Chris Macey, Head of Advocacy , Irish Heart Foundation

“The high numbers not getting to hospital in time is all the more shocking when you consider that by knowing the warning signs, people can have a huge influence on their outcome after stroke,” said Mr Macey. “The average stroke destroys roughly two million brain cells every minute, so the quicker you get to hospital after a stroke, literally the more of your brain can be saved.”

Mr Macey added that the advent of thrombectomy, a clot retrieval treatment that restores the blood supply to a stroke patient’s brain, provided an even more compelling reason to act FAST.

“Global evidence shows that this is the most effective treatment yet developed to treat stroke. It reduces deaths by half and the rate of permanent severe disability among stroke patients by almost as much.

“Getting to hospital in time to receive thrombectomy or clot-busting thrombolysis treatment can literally mean the difference between walking out of hospital after a few days or death or being dependent for the rest of your life. But only if you act FAST.”

For more information on stroke please see here


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