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Stroke Numbers Expected To Rise

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Jonathan Coleman
Jonathan Coleman

Strokes are the leading cause of disability and death in New Zealand and urgent measures are needed to reduce the number of victims, an academic says.

Stroke occurrences in New Zealand are the second-highest amongst developed countries and numbers are increasing, said Professor Valery Feigin of the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neuroscience said.

The institute was launched today by the Associate Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman at the Auckland University of Technology's North Shore campus.

The institute's aim was to conduct research to improve the health and rehabilitation of people with major neurological disorders including stroke and traumatic brain injury.

Stroke affected thousands of people every year and costs more than $450 million each year in hospital and rehabilitation-related expenses.

Stroke incidence had declined by 42 percent during the past three decades in other developed countries but in New Zealand it fell only 11 percent between 1981 and 2003 -- and by only 11 percent. It had increased 66 percent in the Pacific population and 19 percent in Maori, Prof Feigin said.

Stroke mainly affected elderly people and because of New Zealand's ageing population, the number of stroke victims was expected to rise substantially, he said.


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