One in eight women in the UK are unaware that they could suffer a stroke even though they are three times more deadly than breast cancer, a poll has found.
The Stroke Association said women account for nearly two-thirds of stroke deaths and labelled the results of its poll “extremely worrying”.
“This should serve as a wake-up call to women to be aware and better informed of the steps they can take to reduce their stroke risk”
Three-quarters of women said they did not know that strokes are one of the world’s biggest killers, while less than a third were aware their stroke risk would increase with age.
Women face a number of unique risk factors, including the contraceptive pill, pregnancy and hormone replacement therapy.
Nikki Hill from the Stroke Association said: “It’s extremely worrying that most women don’t even have stroke on their radar. We know that women’s stroke risk significantly increases as they get older, and one in five women will have a stroke in their lifetime.
“This should serve as a wake-up call to women of all ages to be aware and better informed of the steps they can take to reduce their stroke risk,” she said.
“Simple lifestyle changes, such as keeping blood pressure under control, exercising regularly and stopping smoking, could significantly lower women’s likelihood of having a stroke,” she added.
Around 30,000 women die from a stroke every year and the condition is the third leading cause of death in women in the UK, the charity said.
The figures were released today by the charity to mark this year’s World Stroke Day, the theme of which highlights the impact of stroke on women.