Most women 'unaware' of stroke risk

Credit: PA

One in every eight women do not think they are at risk from a stroke, despite the condition killing three times as many women as breast cancer every year, a charity has warned.

The Stroke Association said 30,000 women lose their lives to a stroke annually, but despite the high number of deaths, most women were not aware they could be affected.

A stroke is caused when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, causing a blood clot or bleeding in the brain, and is the third leading cause of death among women in the UK.

Read: Woman, 90, suffers stroke and dies after alleged burglary

Their research found a staggering 74% of women in England and Wales did not know strokes were one of the world's biggest killers.

In fact, strokes kill more women every year than breast cancer, the Stroke Association said.

And fewer than a third of women (28%) said they thought they would be most likely to have a stroke as they got older.

The research also found that women have different attitudes towards the consequences of stroke compared to men. The findings show:

  • Over half of women (51%) said they feared becoming reliant on others as a result of a stroke, compared to just two fifths of men (44%)

  • Memory loss was one of the most feared consequences of a stroke for men, while a greater proportion of women feared losing their ability to speak

  • Just one in 25 women (4%) said they feared losing their ability to walk.

Strokes can be caused by a variety of lifestyle factors; smoking more than doubles a person's chances of having one, and pregnancy, taking the pill or hormone replacement therapy will dramatically increase the risk.

However, age is the biggest influence and a person's chance of developing a stroke doubles every decade after they turn 55.

A stroke can affect speech, memory and ability to walk.

Megan Giglia was just 27 when she had a life changing stroke, despite very few warning signals.

Fitness coach Megan spoke to Good Morning Britain about "unaware" she was a stroke could happen at her age.

Read: Tumeric 'link' to brain cell repair