Gender Influences Risk and Recovery -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Gender Influences Risk and Recovery

New research shows that not only known risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and alcohol abuse, pre-chamber fibrillation or adverse blood lipid values are distributed differently between men and women. Apparently, gender itself has a significant influence on the risk of stroke and chances of recovery.

A study of 325 patients who had suffered an ischemic stroke concluded that the standard thrombolytic therapy to dissolve clots helped women less than men: three months after the event, around 28.8% of men continued to suffer more than moderate functional impairment, compared to 44.2% of women.

In a second study, data from a total of 1,673 patients was evaluated. They had suffered an acute ischemic stroke for the first time between 2000 and 2006. According to the study, certain risk factors which could be reduced by preventive action were much more commonly discovered retrospectively among men than women. Whereas 4.5% of women patients learned they suffered from high blood pressure after they had had a stroke, twice as many men (9.6%) were not informed before the cerebral infarct. Whereas 1.5% of women were not aware before that they had diabetes, 4.4% of male patients learned that they were diagnosed with diabetes mellitus after the stroke.

The study also states that risk factors which are already known are unevenly distributed by gender. Women were more often diagnosed with high blood pressure and heart rhythm disorders, risk factors which are closely associated with stress. Among men, risk factors were more commonly associated with unhealthy lifestyle, especially smoking and alcohol abuse, and the resulting arterial diseases.; Source: Bettschart und Kofler