Women are less likely than men to have a stroke after mini-stroke, according to a new study.
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and Yale University said that their findings underscore the need to continue researching gender differences in disease prevention and follow-up care.
Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is called mini-stroke because it produces stroke-like symptoms but rarely causes lasting damage.
The researchers said that their study found that 30 days after a TIA, women are 30 percent less likely to have a stroke, 14 percent less likely to have heart-related problems and 26 percent less likely to die than men of the same age.
"We know that many TIA patients show up at medical centers with heart problems within a month of the first event, and even more show up within a year," said Virginia Howard, Ph.D., an associate professor in the UAB School of Public Health and a study co-author.
"Now we''re seeing that warning signal may mean differing things for different people depending on gender, age and many other factors," Howard added.
Apart from the post-30-day period, the researchers analyzed the one-year-period after TIA and found women were 15 per cent less likely to have a stroke, 19 per cent less likely to have a cardiac event and 22 per cent less likely to die than men.
Researchers reviewed the records of more than 122,000 patients aged 65 and older who were hospitalized for a TIA in 2002.
Judith H. Lichtman, Ph.D., an associate professor at Yale School of Public Health and the study''s lead author, said that while additional research is needed to better understand the reasons for the gender-related difference in health outcomes, the findings could help improve prevention and heart-related care for both men and women.
The study appears online in the journal Stroke and was presented at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference in San Diego.