Symptoms of a Stroke in Women and Men

close-up of couple holding hands

Men and women who have strokes often feel similar symptoms such as face drooping, arm weakness and speech difficulty. Other common signs include problems seeing out of one or both eyes and balance or coordination problems.

But some women have symptoms subtle enough to be missed or brushed off. That can lead to delays in getting time-sensitive, lifesaving treatments.

How do I know I’m having a stroke?

Symptoms in Men and Women

  • Numbness or weakness in face, arm or leg
  • Trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Vision problems
  • Trouble walking or a lack of coordination
  • Severe headache without a known cause

Additional Symptoms in Women

  • Debilidad general
  • Disorientation and confusion or memory problems
  • Fatiga
  • Náuseas o vómitos

Symptoms of stroke in women and men infographic

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Are Black women at extra risk?

Black women in their 50s may have more than triple the risk of stroke compared with white women of the same age, according to a 2019 study. The study also found that a healthy lifestyle could help curb much of that risk.

The findings suggest strokes are "impacting black women at a time in their lives when they're most productive — at the peak of their lives," said Monik C. Jiménez, lead author of the study, published in the American Heart Association journal, Stroke.

Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of severe, long-term disability. That’s why it’s important to take action immediately. Getting quick stroke treatment can save lives.

Learn more about how to spot a stroke F.A.S.T.


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