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Thursday, October 7, 1999 Published at 08:34 GMT 09:34 UK

UK: Scotland

Campaign targets stroke victims

Strokes can have a devastating effect on their victims

A campaign is being launched to help victims and their families come to terms with the effects of a stroke.

Strokes are considered the third largest cause of premature death in Scotland and the country is considered to have one of the worst records in the developed world for deaths due to the condition.

BBC Scotland's Social Affairs Correspondent Reeval Alderson reports
However, according to the Health Education Board for Scotland, few people know how the condition can affect them.

Most strokes happen when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked by a clot.

If the problem occurs on the left side of the brain, the right hand side of the body is weakened and vice-versa.

[ image: Smoking can prove a factor]
Smoking can prove a factor
It can affect mobility and speech and in severe cases vision and understanding.

Each year in Scotland, it is estimated that 10,000 people survive a stroke.

However, the Health Education Board for Scotland says few people understand the consequences and the prospects for recovery and rehabilitation.

It is launching a new video pack along with the charity Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland in an attempt to give hope to those affected - whether as victims or carers.

Among the case studies featured is an Ayr man who lost the use of his right arm and is now an accomplished painter who uses his left.

A lack of exercise is thought to double the risk of a stroke and it is also linked to high blood pressure.

Health experts say giving up smoking reduces your risk of suffering from the condition.

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Health Education Board for Scotland

Chest Heart and Stroke Association links

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