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Many Stroke Deaths Preventable, Says Stroke Foundation

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Many Stroke Deaths Preventable, Says Stroke Foundation

Stroke is the second largest cause of death in the developed world, as it is in New Zealand. On World Stroke Day (29 October) the NZ Stroke Foundation is calling on New Zealanders to attend to their risk of stroke.

"The simple fact is that the majority of strokes are preventable," says Stroke Foundation CEO Mark Vivian. "Making simple lifestyle changes can help prevent stroke.

"Eating a healthy diet with reduced salt, having regular physical activity, not drinking too much alcohol and being smokefree will reduce your risk of stroke. And very importantly, make sure you keep your blood pressure down."

Mr Vivian says the Stroke Foundation was shocked last month to find that nearly half of those who took advantage of free blood pressure checks during Stroke Awareness Week had raised blood pressure.

"Forty-five percent of the blood pressures reported back to the Stroke Foundation were above normal."

He says high blood pressure is strongly related to stroke and urges people to have their blood pressure checked regularly.

"If your blood pressure is found to be high, it can usually be controlled by a combination of diet, exercise and medication."

The World Stroke Day message is that everybody can do something about stroke, whether on an individual, group or government level.

Stroke facts and figures Stroke is the second single largest killer in New Zealand (more than 2000 people die from a stroke every year) and the major cause of adult disability in New Zealand. Every day, 21 New Zealanders have a stroke - that's nearly 8000 people each year. There are 56,000 stroke survivors in New Zealand, many of whom have disability and need significant daily support. A stroke is a sudden interruption of blood flow to the brain, causing brain cell damage. Basically, it is a brain attack. At least one in three New Zealanders can't recognise the signs of a stroke. Delayed recognition means delayed medical intervention - which can have tragic consequences.

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