9 May 2017

Stroke and stroke prevention awareness event

ESHT’s Community Stroke Rehabilitation Team will be promoting awareness of stroke and stroke prevention at Eastbourne’s Arndale Centre on Tuesday 16th May 2017 from 10.00am to 2.30pm.

Jill Gorman, Lead Community Stroke Specialist Dietitian said: “At our awareness event, members of the stroke team will be able to carrying out tests for an irregular pulse, and we will also be able to check blood pressure as well as offer advice on how to reduce the risk of stroke.”

Every year over 100,000 people suffer a stroke in the UK, that is one every 5 minutes. Stroke is the fourth single leading cause of death in the UK. Almost two thirds of stroke survivors leave hospital with a disability. Stroke causes twice as many deaths a year in women than breast cancer and twice as many deaths a year in men than prostate and testicular cancer combined.

The main risk factors for stroke are high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking. 1 in 7 people in the UK are diagnosed as having high blood pressure and it is a contributing factor in around half of all strokes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Treatment for high blood pressure significantly reduces the risk of heart attacks, stroke and heart failure: every 10mmHg reduction in blood pressure reduces the risk of major cardiovascular events by 20%.The number of people diagnosed as having high blood pressure has consistently increased since 2005.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. AF is the fourth most important risk factor for stroke. There are 1.2 million people are living with AF in the UK today. Risk of stroke increases 5 times for those with AF. It often goes undiagnosed and it is estimated there could be another half a million people in the UK with undiagnosed AF. Signs that you could have AF are palpitations (being aware of your heart beating fast), breathlessness, dizziness and tiredness. If you experience these symptoms, you should seek advice from your doctor or practice nurse.