Reducing stroke in women with risk factor management: blood pressure and cholesterol

Written by Sanam Baghshomali & Cheryl Bushnell

Stroke is a major cause of death and disability in adults worldwide. Prevention focused on modifiable risk factors, such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia, has shown them to be of significant importance in decreasing the risk of stroke. Multiple studies have brought to light the differences between men and women with regards to stroke and these risk factors. Women have a higher prevalence of stroke, mortality and disability and it has been shown that preventive and treatment options are not as comprehensive for women. Hence, it is of great necessity to evaluate and summarize the differences in gender and stroke risk factors in order to target disparities and optimize prevention, especially because women have a higher lifetime risk of stroke. The purpose of this review is to summarize sex differences in the prevalence of hypertension and hyperlipidemia. In addition, we will review the sex differences in stroke prevention effectiveness and adherence to blood pressure and cholesterol medications, and suggest future directions for research to reduce the burden of stroke in women.

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