Studies suggest that gender differences exist in patients with stroke. This study is aimed at determining the gender difference in risk factors and clinical presentation of acute stroke among male and female patients. This is a prospective study conducted at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) from 2005 to 2009. All patients admitted through the accident and emergency unit or directly to neurology unit with clinical and radiological proven stroke were enrolled into the study after informed written or oral consent. History with emphasis on clinical presentation and neurological examination were conducted by the authors. The national institutes of health stroke scale (NIHSS) was administered to all enrollees. Ninety-one patients were enrolled for the study, 61 males (63%) and 30 females (37%). There was no significant difference in the mean age (p=0.823). Females were less likely to be formally educated (p=0.024). Females were more likely to be in coma at time of presentation (p=0.003), but there was no significant difference in weakness, facial paralysis, speech or swallowing difficulties, hemianopia, headache and vomiting. Lacunar strokes were more frequent in males (p=0.048). Females were less likely to smoke (p=0.046) or take alcohol (p=0.027). We found 6.67% of the females with eclampsia as the possible cause of stroke. Females had a higher NIHSS on discharge (p=0.047). This finding support gender-related difference in stroke. More research is required to assess gender differences in stroke mortality and morbidity.
Key words: Gender, stroke, risk factor, clinical presentation.
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