Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Sunday, September 27, 1998 Published at 23:07 GMT 00:07 UK


Health

Public ignorant about stroke risk

Strokes or brain attacks cost the NHS £2.3bn a year

A third of people do not recognise any symptoms of a stroke, despite it being the third most common killer in the UK.

A third of 2,000 adults asked about strokes could not even identify one of the three main symptoms:

  • paralysis of one side of the body
  • sudden difficulty in understanding speech or speaking
  • sudden blurring of vision

One in six wrongly thought chest pains were a symptom.

The MORI survey, carried out for the Stroke Association, one in seven people would not seek immediate medical help if they suffered a stroke symptom.

"With a new case of stroke occurring every five minutes in this country, this lack of awareness of the signs is of great concern," said Professor John Marshall of the Stroke Association.

Brain attack

Around 300,000 people are affected by the condition which is known as brain attack and is caused by a disruption of the blood supply to the brain.

Every year more than 100,000 have their first stroke.

A third recover completely, but another third die within a year.

Strokes are the single biggest cause of disability in the UK and cost the NHS £2.3bn a year.


[ image: Strokes mostly affect old people, but they can strike the young too]
Strokes mostly affect old people, but they can strike the young too
The Stroke Association says it is vital for anyone who has a stroke symptom to seek medical help immediately.

It is publishing a leaflet, Stroke: know the warning signs, as part of national stroke awareness week.

The leaflet advises that people can reduce their risk of developing a stroke by checking their blood pressure regularly, stopping smoking, taking regular exercise, reducing their salt intake, eating lots of fruit and vegetables and avoiding drinking too much alcohol.

It also gives advice on what to do if someone develops stroke symptoms.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


Health Contents

Background Briefings
Medical notes

Relevant Stories

09 Sep 98†|†Health
Stroke patients helped to swallow

27 May 98†|†Latest News
Young stroke victims lose out

27 May 98†|†Medical notes
Stroke





Internet Links


National Stroke Association (US)

Stroke links


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Disability in depth

Spotlight: Bristol inquiry

Antibiotics: A fading wonder

Mental health: An overview

Alternative medicine: A growth industry

The meningitis files

Long-term care: A special report

Aids up close

From cradle to grave

NHS reforms: A guide

NHS Performance 1999

From Special Report
NHS in crisis: Special report

British Medical Association conference '99

Royal College of Nursing conference '99