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Dr. Campbell: Gender gaps in stroke awareness

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RALEIGH, N.C. - Stroke awareness among men in the United States is relatively high. The same can't be said for women, according to studies.

A new study published in the journal Stroke, published by the American Heart Association (AHA), found that knowledge of the signs and symptoms of stroke is very poor among women in the U.S.

A stroke occurs when there is impaired blood flow to the brain. Most strokes are caused by embolic events—where a clot forms in the arteries to the brain. A small percentage of strokes occur due to bleeding in the brain. Strokes can cause significant debilitation and can result in very poor outcomes. 

Stroke is the third leading cause of death among women in the U.S. Strokes can cause many negative health outcomes, especially among women.  According to the AHA, it is estimated that 31 percent of female stroke survivors will need help caring for themselves, 16 percent will require institutional care and 7 percent will have an impaired ability to work. 

According to the AHA, each year approximately
55,000 more women than men have a stroke—most likely due to the fact that women are living longer than men . Additionally, demographic data shows that there are significant racial disparities in stroke rates—black women have twice the stroke rate of whites and Hispanic women tend to have more stroke risk factors than other demographic groups.

Since we know what a stroke is, what are the symptoms of a stroke?

Symptoms include numbness or weakness of an arm or leg or one side of the body or face, facial drooping or drooling, difficulty with speaking or forming words, and slurred speech are common symptoms. Other symptoms include headache, dizziness and passing out which are less common.

For more information on strokes, you can catch Dr. Campbell on WNCN Today on at 6:15 a.m. on Wednesdays.

To get in touch with Dr. Campbell, you can head to his website, Facebook page or message him on Twitter.

Copyright WNCN 2014. All rights reserved.
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