UMCG in Groningen: Pregnancy and menopause increase the risk of cerebral hemorrhage

UMCG in Groningen: Pregnancy and menopause increase the risk of cerebral hemorrhage

Researchers from the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) have concluded that women during pregnancy and menopause are at greater risk of developing certain types of cerebral hemorrhage.

The use of hormones in women with gestational hypertension (hypertension) and preeclampsia (pre-eclampsia) also increases the risk of cerebral hemorrhage. Meanwhile, much is still unknown about the factors that play a role in the development of vascular malformations and cerebral hemorrhage in women.


Doctor and researcher Maryam Ali from LUMC in Leiden discovered last year how little is actually known about brain hemorrhage in women. That’s why she wrote a review article herself, under the supervision of her supervisor Marieke Vermer (a vascular neurologist at UMCG). It was published last week in the leading scientific journal Lancet Neuroscience .

Based on existing literature, researchers concluded that women are generally at greater risk of developing a cerebral hemorrhage than men, especially as they age and especially during pregnancy and menopause. “But we also write that much remains unknown,” Ali says in a UMCG press release. “For example, whether a woman with a vascular defect can push during childbirth.”

Example of heart disease for women

Medical science still knows very little about which hormones during menopause have a positive or negative effect on the development of cerebral hemorrhage. Therefore, Ali and her colleagues call for more research on brain hemorrhage in women, in order to achieve better health outcomes for them. An example is gynecologic heart disease, Werner says, where a lot of attention is already being paid to factors that increase the risk of heart problems in women.

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According to the researchers, there are several reasons why this has not yet occurred with brain hemorrhages and vascular malformations. For example, most clinical studies have an age limit, while brain hemorrhages in women often occur at an older age, which means this group is excluded from the research.

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