Stroke is the third-leading cause of death in women, but they often miss the opportunity for lifesaving treatment because they are unaware of the symptoms.
About 60 percent of stroke deaths occur in females, statistics show — and something as seemingly benign as hiccups, when coupled with other symptoms, could be a warning sign.
A survey conducted by Ohio State University researchers found that only 11 percent of the 1,000 women could correctly identify pregnancy, lupus, migraine headaches, and oral contraception or hormone replacement therapy as female-specific stroke risks.
“I think we have a ways to go when it comes to educating women about stroke and their unique risk factors,” said Dr. Diana Greene-Chandos, a neurologist and director of neuroscience critical care at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center.
In addition, only 10 percent of the survey’s respondents were aware that “something as trivial as hiccups,” when combined with atypical chest pain, are among the early warning signs of a stroke in women when accompanied by or followed by typical stroke symptoms, Dr. GreenChandos said.
“Women may have more headaches with their strokes. They actually can have hiccups with a little bit of chest pain with their stroke symptoms, sometimes sending them down the pathway of looking for either heart disease or indigestion,” she added.
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