New study reveals more about how strokes affect men - and women

How much do you know about symptoms and risks of strokes. Strokes affect men and women in very different ways. 

A surprising survey finds we have a lot to learn when it comes to strokes. 

Working as a critical care nurse, Callie Earliwine is trained to spot even the most subtle signs of problems in her patients.

It is something she rarely misses in them, but recently failed to recognize in herself.

Callie was suffering from migraines, dizziness and even tremors, all of which she thought were just signs of stress.

"These symptoms started but never would I have (suspected) at my age, of 32, of having a stroke," she said.

But that's just what happened and doctors say Callie is not alone. 

"Women do not think that they are going to have a stroke," said Dr. Diana Greene-Chandos, Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. "They think of it as a men's disease."  

Chandos is a neurologist who says women have unique risks and symptoms when it comes to stroke, but many don't know it.

Things like pregnancy and migraines can make a stroke more likely.

A new national survey of women released by the Wexner Medical Center, found that only 11 percent of women could identify a list of female-specific risks.

About nine out of 10 didn't know women often have hiccups during a stroke. 

Knowing the very first signs of a stroke is crucial, because doctors say there is only a three-hour window to get to a hospital for possible life-saving medicine. 

"You have to know when you're having a stroke, you have to recognize that it's a stroke and you have to get to the emergency room and receive the medication," Chandos said.

Callie was lucky. she had her stroke at the hospital and got help immediately. But she says she's learned that she should have listened to her body all along.

"Get checked out," Callie said. "Get lab works done. You know. tell your doctor some of your symptoms. I want to be here for my family, I want to be here for my little girl." 

One place where you can learn all about protecting your heart and avoiding stroke is the American Heart Association Heart Walk, sponsored by Fox 2.

It is this Saturday on the riverfront in downtown Detroit and Fox 2's Amy Andrews will be there.

CLICK HERE for more information.

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