Younger women may be at greater risk for stroke, according to a large review

A woman meets with her physician and reviews her medical history

Women ages 35 and younger have a higher incident of experiencing ischemic stroke compared to younger men, according to a meta-analysis of close to 70,000 young adults. The retrospective review published in Stroke and was partially supported by the NHLBI.  
Researchers conducted their analysis with the aim of clarifying if younger women, ages 18-45, were more likely to have higher incidents of stroke compared to young men. Since the number of young adults who experience stroke is small (affecting 15% of adults younger than age 50), the researchers pooled data from 16 studies to generate a large sample size. After aggregating the data, they found that women ages 35 and younger were 44% more likely to experience an ischemic stroke compared to men the same age. However, they didn’t find sex-specific differences in stroke incidents among adults ages 36-45.  
The authors note more research is necessary to understand underlying factors that may help explain differences in ischemic stroke rates in younger adults. This includes studying the role that nontraditional risk factors, such as pregnancy and migraines, may have in contributing to higher stroke incidents in young women.