How common is it for women in their 40's to stroke?
I am a 48 year old female. R Basal Ganglia Stroke on 1.17.09. My left-sided weakness has improved. I have a slight foot drop and some left side coordination issues. My right eye blurs and I have muscle tightness/spasm. Otherwise I am very healthy. There is no known reason for my stroke. Q: How common is it for women in their 40's to stroke? (I have heard of two in my area so far...)
At the age of 48, it is certainly not unheard of to have a stroke. However, it is still quite rare and deserves a throrough evaluation. Unlike a stroke in an older person, a stroke at the age of 48 cannot be assumed to be from the standard risk factors of "hardening of the arteries", and I try to leave "no stone unturned", as the saying goes.
Your evaluation should include an MRI of the brain, a non-invasive angiogram of the brain and neck (either CT angiogram or MR angiogram) - a simple ultrasound of the neck is not sufficient, a hypercoaguable (clotting) panel, a special ultrasound of the heart called a transesophageal echocardiogram, and a prolonged telemetry of the heart electrical rhythms. Even with this list above, a large minority of patients will never have an identifiable cause found. However, I think it makes most sense to do a very thorough evaluation and try to identify some of the causes of stroke in a young person. These include clotting disorders, inborn heart defects, or small tears in the arteries.
I had a stroke at the age of 45 due to a carotid artery dissection. Make sure you get your carotid arteries checked out.
I think I entered that question...