15 Stroke Symptoms in Women We’re Likely to Ignore

Did you know that signs of a stroke can be different in women than men? This, plus risk factors you may not know about, make stroke a leading killer of women. Here’s the info you need.

Why symptoms are different

If you’re at risk for a stroke, one acronym could save your life: FAST, developed by the American Stroke Association (ASA), which stands for face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, and time to call 911. But these aren’t the only or even most obvious stroke symptoms in women, says Cheryl Bushnell, MD, professor of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “We have no idea why the stroke symptoms might be different for women. We need research on this topic.” Women also have unique risk factors—their hormones can play a role—making stroke the third leading cause of death in women.

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