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Lives disrupted: The impact of stroke on women 

A major report on stroke and women was recently released by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canada – a Society Member of the World Stroke Organization. 

Stroke and women – why is this an issue? According to the Heart & Stroke 2018 Stroke report stroke disproportionately affects women. More women die of stroke, women have worse outcomes after stroke, more women are living with the effects of stroke and they face more challenges as they recover. Stroke also disrupts women’s lives. It affects their roles at home, at work, and in the community. It strains their relationships and threatens their independence.

Stroke affects women differently from men and they are at higher risk at key stages: during pregnancy, after menopause, and when they are elderly, and some women are at greater risk than others.

And yet, women experiencing stroke are often at a disadvantage. Many are under-aware of the signs and their personal risk factors. They do not always benefit equally from treatment and care, and they are under-supported in their recoveries with fewer opportunities for rehabilitation. They are also under-represented in stroke research, especially older women who face the greatest burden.

Differences between women’s and men’s brain health are just starting to be understood. Opportunities exist across the continuum of stroke care to better understand these differences and ensure equity for women’s brain health.

The report is available at 

 #TimeToSeeRed is Heart & Stroke’s powerful new awareness campaign to support women’s heart and brain health, aimed at galvanizing Canadians to push for and make changes, and at a faster pace than we have seen in the past. Find out more at