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Provisional figures released by the Central Statistics Office showed that 42 per cent more women than men died from stroke in Ireland during 2013. In total 1,174 women died during that year, out of a national total of 2,001 stroke-related deaths.
In counties such as Carlow, Clare, Offaly, Monaghan, Roscommon and Sligo, the differential was even higher with stroke-related mortality among women close to or exceeding double that of men. In Laois, the rate was almost three times higher. Only two counties had higher mortality among men – Kilkenny and Leitrim.
IHF Head of Advocacy Mr Chris Macey noted that the higher death rate from stroke among women is not widely known.
According to IHF, the main reason more women die from stroke is that they live longer than men, resulting in a greater likelihood of being affected.
However, other factors are also at play, including the higher risk of stroke in women with atrial fibrillation than men with the same condition. Atrial fibrillation is the most common form of cardiac arrhythmia and is associated with strokes that are more severe and are more likely to be fatal.
As part of National Stroke Week, the Irish Heart Foundation is hosting its annual two day stroke conference on 26/27 March. This includes a National Stroke Survivor Day offering free practical workshops and talks for people affected by stroke; and a Stroke Study Day for healthcare professionals with talks from experts on the latest developments in stroke care in Ireland.