Stroke affects 16.9 million people annually and the greatest burden of stroke is in low- and middle-income countries, where 69% of all strokes occur. Stroke risk factors, mortality and outcomes differ in developing countries as compared to the developed world. We performed a literature review of 28 articles pertaining to epidemiology of stroke in Asian women, stroke risk factors, gender-related differences, and stroke outcomes.
Asian women differ from women worldwide due to differences in stroke awareness, risk factor profile, stroke subtypes, and social issues that impact stroke care. While Asian men have a higher incidence of stroke as compared to women overall, the long- and short-term outcomes in Asian women tend to be poorer. Both conventional and gender-specific risk factors contribute to stroke risk. Oral contraceptive use and addictions such as tobacco and alcohol are less prevalent among Asian women due to socio cultural differences. There is however, a much higher preponderance of pregnancy-related stroke and cardio-embolic stroke secondary to rheumatic heart disease and heavy use of chewing tobacco. The overall outcome is poor due to poor access to health care and lack of resources.
Our review exposed the gaps in our knowledge about stroke risk factors and differences in stroke care provided to Asian women. While there are sociocultural barriers that impede the provision of immediate care to these stroke patients, much needs to be done by way of prevention of recurrent stroke and treatment of risk factors.
Mehndiratta, M. M.
(2015). Implications of Female sex on Stroke risk factors, care, outcome and rehabilitation: an Asian perspective. Cerebrovascular Diseases, 39(5-6), 302-308.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_med_neurol/84