One-Third More Women Die Of Stroke Than Men

Heart and Stroke Foundation finds 70% of women don’t know any stroke risk factors

An eye-opener for women from The Heart and Stroke Foundation – more women die after a stroke than men do – one-third more – and women are less likely to return home after treatment – twice as many go into long-term care following a stroke.

Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesman Patrice Lindsay says a lot of women don’t realize they are susceptible, focussing more on cancer and other diseases.

A woman in Canada has a stroke every 17 minutes. This equates to 85 women every day, 18 of whom will die. Compared with men, women are 35% more likely to die within one year of a stroke and 24% more likely to die by five years after a stroke, based on the actual number of deaths. This disparity is mostly because women have strokes at an older age, but is also affected by other factors including increased stroke severity, greater physical or cognitive limitations before their stroke, and pre-existing atrial fibrillation, which can be associated with more severe strokes. Women do not realize this reality
2018 Stroke Report

Elderly women have the highest rate of stroke; the risk increases after menopause. Pregnant women have a higher risk than non-pregnant women of childbearing age.


More than 62,000 strokes occur in Canada each
year; over 30,200 of these happen to women.

One-third more women die of stroke than men
in Canada; of all deaths from stroke, 59% are
women, 41% are men.

Women who have had a stroke have worse
outcomes than men; there are more activity
limitations and lower overall levels of mental and
physical well-being.

Women are less likely to go home after stroke;
almost twice as many women as men go to longterm
care instead.

Approximately 405,000 people in Canada are
living with the effects of a stroke of which 214,000
are women and 191,000 are men.

Less than half of stroke survivors who
participate in rehabilitation are women (46%),
putting them at a disadvantage for making the
best recovery possible.

Elderly women are particularly over-burdened
by stroke and are missing out on access to
treatment, care and rehabilitation


“We have seen amazing improvement in stroke awareness, care, treatment and research over the past 20 years,” says Yves Savoie, CEO, Heart & Stroke. “But unfortunately women are not benefitting equally from this progress. There are opportunities throughout women’s lives, depending on their risk, age and circumstances, where they can be better informed, receive more timely care and treatment and be strongly supported to recover to the fullest.”


A stroke happens when blood stops flowing to any
part of the brain. Strokes can be large or small, and the
effects of stroke depend on the part of the brain affected
and the extent of damage.
• Ischemic stroke is the most common form of stroke,
caused by a blood clot.
• Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel ruptures, causing bleeding in or around the brain.
• A transient ischemic attack (TIA), sometimes referred to as a mini-stroke, is caused by a small clot that briefly
blocks an artery and stops blood flow. TIAs are an important warning that a more serious stroke may occur.
source: Heart and Stroke Foundation, 2018 Stroke report