A Comparison of Stroke Risk Factors in Women With and Without Disabling Conditions




Many adults with disabilities reside in the United States, but whether women with and without disabling conditions differ in terms of stroke risk factors and treatment response is unknown. This descriptive study was designed to determine whether women with and without disabling conditions have different demographic characteristics, self-reported rates of stroke risk factors, and blood pressure readings on the day of screening. Data were collected at a variety of conferences and meetings convened to address health care for women and people with disabilities. Among the 204 participants, 62% (n = 126) had a disabling condition and 38% (n = 78) had no disability. The primary instrument used to measure the differences among women with and without disabling conditions in this study was the Stroke Risk Screening tool. Women with disabling conditions were less likely to have health insurance (85% versus 95% of women without disabling conditions). Women with disabling conditions also were less likely to see their healthcare providers during the previous year (85% versus 96%). One stroke risk factor differed significantly (p < .05) for subjects who had isabling conditions: history of transient ischemic attack (TIA). Just 2.6% of those without disabling conditions had a TIA history, versus 9.5% of those with disabling conditions. Rehabilitation nurses need to focus on early assessment for stroke risk factors and appropriate interventions, particularly for women who have a history of TIAs.