Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the main cause of long term disability in western societies. Stroke is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide A higher absolute number of women than men are affected by stroke, because stroke rates increase dramatically in the older age groups and women have a higher life-expectancy. Post stroke functional recovery and quality of life are consistently poorer in women than in men. Thrombolysis, an intravenous application of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) is now the evidence- based treatment strategy, as suggested by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) rt-PA Stroke Study and the European Cooperative Acute Stroke Study (ECASS) trials. Frequencies of patients of both genders have shown a trend toward women being less likely to receive thrombolysis treatment. Preliminary analysis suggested that gender may influence response to
therapy with rt-PA. Women and men have differences in risk factor profiles and stroke etiology. With regard to thrombolytic treatment it is still unknown whether women benefit as well as men. Austria is a country with a universal health care system and a low
level of income inequality, implying that gender treatment differences should be small.
Last date updated on July, 2014