Thousands of Australian women are living with an undetected silent killer that is putting them at higher risk of stroke compared with men, says the Stroke Foundation.
Despite the fact there are more men than women living with atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), women with the condition are almost twice as likely to have a stroke than men.
On International Women’s Day, Stroke Foundation CEO Sharon McGowan is urging Australian women to get a comprehensive health check before it’s too late.
“Up to 30% of Australians are living with undiagnosed atrial fibrillation, putting them at serious risk of stroke,” McGowan says.
“Women with atrial fibrillation are at higher risk of stroke and are more likely to have a severe and potentially deadly stroke as a result. Atrial fibrillation can be managed but it needs to be detected first.”
She urged Australian women to mark International Women’s Day by having a comprehensive health check.
McGowan says there needs to be more awareness of risk factors for stroke, a disease which kills more women than breast cancer.
“Last year more than 6,500 women lost their lives to stroke and there are almost 170,000 women who are stroke survivors in our community.
“Stroke is one of the biggest killers of Australian women – much more must be done to stop this devastating disease.”