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Womens Health (Lond Engl). 2011 Jul;7(4):465-74. doi: 10.2217/whe.11.45.

Sex differences in antiplatelet response in ischemic stroke.

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  • 1Stroke Center & Department of Neurosciences, University of California at San Diego, 200 W Arbor Drive, MON, Suite 3, San Diego, CA 92103-8466, USA. dmmeyer@ucsd.edu


Sex differences exist in the occurrence, treatment and outcome of ischemic stroke. Compared with men, women have more stroke events and are less likely to fully recover from a stroke. Given the rapidly aging population, stroke incidence and mortality among women are projected to substantially rise by 2050. This has important public health consequences. Mitigating the burden of stroke among women will require a fundamental understanding of sex differences and sex-specific issues including cerebrovascular disease pathophysiology, treatment and outcome. An aspect of stroke treatment receiving increasing but insufficient attention involves possible interactions between estrogen levels, antiplatelet drugs and stroke outcome. Emerging evidence suggests that antiplatelet therapy may provide primary stroke protection but not primary myocardial infarction prevention in women, while the opposite may be true among men. Understanding sex-specific issues related to women who experience stroke is critical to clinicians who treat women with antiplatelet medications as part of a secondary stroke prevention regimen; however, the ideal antiplatelet medication, and dose, in women requires further research. In this article we present a conceptual framework for sex differences in antiplatelet treatment response in ischemic stroke, thrombus formation and the mediating role of estrogen, sex differences in antiplatelet treatment response in clinical trials, and sex differences in antiplatelet treatment use in ischemic stroke.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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