Page last updated at 17:05 GMT, Monday, 14 September 2009 18:05 UK

Health Focus: Stroke

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Dr Ken Fullerton, a consultant at Belfast City Hospital, says the death rate from stroke has gone down.

This week, Health Focus is looking at the issue of stroke - the greatest single cause of severe disability in Northern Ireland.

It tends to affect older people, but it is not uncommon for it to strike a person in their 20s even teenagers.

About 4,000 people in Northern Ireland suffer a stroke each year, and about half of those will be left with a severe disability.

Our health correspondent Marie-Louise Connolly has been talking to a medical expert and a stroke survivor about the issue.

Patricia Riddel reveals the impact of having two strokes before the age of 48.

She was only 39 when she suffered her first mini-stroke.

She had another and lost the power of her right side, adding:"I thought my world had ended.

But she was given hope in the form of a range of therapies at her home.

These, she says, helped her regain mobility and her independence.

Patricia Riddel reveals the impact of having two strokes before the age of 48.

Meanwhile, Dr Ken Fullerton, a consultant at Belfast City Hospital, says more people are treated in a stroke unit in Northern Ireland than in the rest of the UK.

However, he says in the last 25 years the death rate from stroke in Northern Ireland has gone down by two thirds in men and by three-quarters in women.

Dr Fullerton also talks about the importance of rehabilitation for stroke patients.

You can see Health Focus on BBC Newsline every Monday.

So if you have something you would like to see included in this slot, you can e-mail marie-louise.connolly@bbc.co.uk or phone her on 02890 338505.



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