A brain aneurysm occurs when a weak spot in an artery balloons out and fills up with blood. Estimates show that more than six million people in the United States have an unruptured brain aneurysm, and around 30,000 rupture each year. Statistics from the Brain Aneurysm Foundation also reveal that women are more likely to have a brain aneurysm than men. In particular, women over the age of 55 have a 1.5 times higher risk of brain aneurysm rupture than men. About 50 percent of ruptured brain aneurysm cases are fatal, and around 66 percent of patients who survive them are left to deal with permanent neurological deficit.
Feeling a “snap” in the head
In 2018, 36-year-old Lindsay Bowerman, a healthy mother, felt a “snap” in her head, followed by intense pressure and pain that, according to her, was the worst she had ever experienced. Bowerman was immediately rushed to the hospital, where neurosurgeon Dr. Gavin Britz was able to treat her – but even then, she only had a 30 percent chance of survival.
Britz, who also serves as the director of the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute, said that doctors aren’t certain why women are more likely than men to have a brain aneurysm. One study published in the