Description: In February 2014, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association released their first guideline focused on stroke prevention in women. This new guideline highlights unique risk factors for stroke in women, including oral contraception and hormone therapy, and pregnancy-associated disorders, such as preeclampsia, that may have long-lasting consequences on a woman's health. It also addresses hypertension; atrial fibrillation; migraine headache with aura; and the epidemiology of types of stroke, such as aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage and cerebral vein thrombosis, that are predominant in women.
Methods: Members of a multidisciplinary expert panel searched, reviewed, and critiqued relevant English-language literature published between 1990 and May 2013. The panel devised evidence tables and developed recommendations using American Heart Association guideline procedures and levels of evidence.
Recommendations: This synopsis of the guideline summarizes the evidence about risk factors for stroke in women and suggests prevention strategies. It also describes the new recommendations relevant to identifying and treating hypertensive disorders in pregnancy that increase risk for stroke.