Risk Factors for Stroke in Premenopausal Women Identified

A new review has identified risk factors for stroke in young women.

Ischemic stroke is common among older individuals. However, the occurrence of ischemic stroke among younger women is increasing rapidly, which presents a challenge for emergency physicians.


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To better understand the evaluation and management of young women with ischemic stroke in the emergency department, a panel of 6 board-certified emergency physicians conducted a literature review of existing knowledge. Online databases were used for primary research purposes, and each physician reviewed articles related to his or her specialty.

Results of the review indicate that, in the United States, ischemic stroke in premenopausal women occurs at an incidence rate of 3.65 to 8.90 per 100,000. Oral contraceptive use and migraine with aura are among the risk factors for ischemic stroke.

Women who are pregnant or are postpartum (up to 12 weeks) are also at a higher risk for ischemic stroke and cerebral hemorrhage.

“Unique challenges exist in the evaluation and diagnosis of ischemic stroke in young women,” the researchers conclude. “There are still many opportunities for future research aimed at improving detection and treatment of this population.”

—Amanda Balbi


Chang BP, Wira C, Miller J, et al. Neurology concepts: young women and stroke—evaluation and management in the emergency department. Acad Emerg Med. 2018;25(1). doi:10.1111/acem.13243.