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Functional Neurology

Gender and stroke: acute phase treatment and prevention

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Abstract
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Stroke is the third most common cause of death in women and a major cause of disability. Many aspects of stroke are similar in men and women, including clinical presentation, main risk factors, and distribution of the main subtypes. There are, however, some gender differences and specificities in stroke including some aspects related to treatment. Women are less likely to receive thrombolysis than men; however, in treated cases, the efficacy of intravenous thrombolysis is higher in women than in men. Hormone replacement therapy has been suggested as a possible strategy to reduce the occurrence of stroke in postmenopausal women but several clinical trials failed to show any benefit in stroke and cardiovascular disease prevention.
Also in stroke prevention with antiplatelets there emerge some important gender differences: in primary prevention of stroke, aspirin was effective in women but not in men while in secondary prevention no gender differences were found with any of the available antiplatelet agents.

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