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Tuesday, 30 May, 2000, 00:55 GMT 01:55 UK
Women 'unaware of stroke danger'
Women are at greater risk of stroke
Women are significantly more likely to die of a stroke than men - but research shows they are also less aware of the risk factors.

A survey, commissioned by The Stroke Association, shows that women are considerably less likely to recognise that eating healthily, and lowering their alcohol consumption, can help to reduce the risk of stroke.

Stroke is Britain's third biggest killer and the largest single cause of severe disability.

These figures are extremely worrying

Eoin Redahan, The Stroke Association

The survey asked what people thought they could do to reduce high blood pressure - the single biggest risk factor for stroke.

Some 44% of men said eating a healthy diet was important, compared to 39% of women, while taking exercise was rated as important by 33% of men, but only 29% of women.

More deadly than breast cancer

Eoin Redahan, director of public affairs at The Stroke Association, said: "These figures are extremely worrying.

"Women are three times more likely to die of a stroke than they are of breast cancer, yet many women are clearly unaware of what they can do to help reduce the risk."

The survey is published days before a major discussion and vote by the National Federation of Women's Institutes (NFWI) on the issue of stroke care.

UK figures show that 16% of women are likely to die of a stroke compared to just 8% of men.

In 1998, 36,065 women in England and Wales died from stroke, compared to 21,415 men.

The NFWI motion calls on the government to "greatly improve the treatment and therapies available to stroke sufferers to achieve a far higher national standard of care".

A survey by The Stroke Association published last year found that thousands of stroke victims were dying unnecessarily because they do not receive proper care.

A stroke severely damages or destroys a part of the brain.

It can be caused by a clot forming in a blood vessel, so that blood flow to the brain is blocked, or by a damaged blood vessel bursting in the brain.

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02 Jul 99 | Health
Stroke delays increase deaths
14 Apr 99 | Health
Stroke care in crisis
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