29th October is ‘World Stroke Day’. Each year, the campaign focusses on a different theme within stroke and cardiovascular health. The focusses of previous years have included: the effect of stroke on women (around 30,000 women die from stroke every year – that’s three times as many as breast cancer), addressing misinformation surrounding stroke, and raising awareness of the fact that 1 in 6 of us will suffer a stroke in our lifetimes.
What is stroke?
Stroke is caused when there is a blockage that stops blood flow to the brain or if there is a bleed on the brain. It can affect people in different ways, varying from body function to thought processes and the way that you communicate. It can also cause emotional issues such as anxiety and depression.
Stroke can affect anyone, but your risk does increase with age and the development of certain medical conditions. Although it is not fully understood why, black people are twice as likely to have a stroke as white people.
By making people aware of the risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes it is hoped that these conditions will be more closely monitored whatever age you are and lifestyle you lead. There is also a lot of promotion around the ‘FAST’ response test and getting people to recognise a stroke as soon as it happens.
F – Facial Weakness
A – Arm Weakness
S – Speech Problems
T – Time to call 999
To find about more about World Stroke Day visit: http://www.stroke.org.uk/