More women than men appear to suffer a stroke in middle age, says a new study.
In the study, published in the on-line edition of a journal of American Academy of Neurology, the researchers analysed data from 17,000 people over the age of 18 who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Of the participants, 606 experienced a stroke. The study found that women in the age of group of 45-54 were more than twice as likely as men in the same age group to have had a stroke.
There were no sex differences in stroke rates found in the age groups of 35-44 and the 55-64.
"While our analysis shows increased waist size and coronary artery disease are predictors of stroke among women aged 45 to 54, it is not immediately clear why there is a sex disparity in stroke rates among this age group," said study author Amytis Towfighi at the Stroke Centre and Department of Neurology at the University of California here.
"While further study is needed, this mid-life stroke surge among women suggests prompt and close attention may need to be paid to the cardiovascular health of women in their mid-30s to mid-50s with a goal of mitigating this burden," he said.