Gender-Specific Risk Factors for Stroke Outlined

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Catharina J. M. Klijn, MD Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Centre for Neuroscience Department of Neurology Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Dr. Catharina J. M. Klijn

Catharina J. M. Klijn, MD
Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery
University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Centre for Neuroscience
Department of Neurology
Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre
Nijmegen, the Netherlands

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The incidence of stroke is higher in men than in women. This difference attenuates with increasing age. Established risk factors for stroke, such as hypertension, cigarette smoking and ischemic heart disease are more prevalent in men but only partly explain the difference in stroke incidence. The contribution of oral contraceptive use and hormone therapy to stroke risk has been previously reviewed. We aimed to evaluate what is known on other female- and male specific risk factors for ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke incidence and stroke mortality through a systematic review and meta-analysis of 78 studies including over 10 million participants.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: We found that hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (pregnancy related hypertension, pre-eclampsia, and eclampsia) increase the risk of ischemic stroke, late menopause and gestational hypertension the risk of hemorrhagic stroke, and oophorectomy, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, preterm delivery, and stillbirth the risk of any stroke. Hysterectomy possibly protects against stroke. Male-specific risk factors are medical androgen deprivation therapy for ischemic stroke and any stroke, and erectile dysfunction for any stroke. Relative risks varied between 1.2 and 5.1.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: There are more risk factors for stroke than those classically known, such as hypertension and smoking. Consideration of sex-specific risk factors can improve individualized stroke risk assessment.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Future research on prediction of risk of stroke should include female- and male-specific risk factors. For this research consistent reporting of definitions of sex-specific factors is needed.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Accuracy of risk assessment of stroke can be improved by adding female- and male-specific protective or risk factors to risk scores.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Poorthuis MHF, Algra AM, Algra A, Kappelle LJ, Klijn CJM. Female- and Male-Specific Risk Factors for Stroke A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Neurol. Published online November 14, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.3482

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