Win­ning the bat­tle against strokes

Bath Chronicle - - HEALTH & LIFESTYLE -

THE num­ber of peo­ple hav­ing strokes has steadily de­creased by 43% since 2000 – but peo­ple are hav­ing them at a younger age ac­cord­ing to data from the South Lon­don Stroke Reg­is­ter. But re­searchers at King’s Col­lege Lon­don found that, although the over­all rate had de­creased, there had only been a small rel­a­tive de­crease in the black pop­u­la­tion. They said this may be due to higher lev­els of high blood pres­sure and di­a­betes seen in black pa­tients. The study also found they tended to have strokes at a younger age, with a de­crease in the av­er­age age at first stroke from 72.3 in 20002003, to 69.3 in 2012-2015. The team at­tributes the over­all re­duced rate to a range of fac­tors in­clud­ing im­proved preven­tion mea­sures such as med­i­ca­tion like statins. Re­duced rates of smok­ing and drink­ing are also thought to be an im­por­tant fac­tor as mak­ing th­ese life­style changes can sig­nif­i­cantly lower peo­ple’s risk of stroke. The se­ri­ous con­di­tion oc­curs when blood sup­ply to part of the brain is cut off. Strokes – caused when blood sup­ply to part of the brain is cut off – are a lead­ing cause of death and dis­abil­ity in the UK, with more than 32,000 stroke-re­lated deaths each year. The best way to help pre­vent a stroke is to eat a healthy diet, ex­er­cise reg­u­larly, and avoid smok­ing and drink­ing too much al­co­hol. Study au­thor Dr Yanzhong Wang, se­nior lec­turer in med­i­cal sta­tis­tics at King’s Col­lege Lon­don, said: “It’s pos­i­tive to see the rate of stroke in south Lon­don re­duc­ing, and we hope th­ese find­ings will help to plan fu­ture pol­icy to pre­vent strokes in the pop­u­la­tion. “In par­tic­u­lar, more work is needed to iden­tify in­di­vid­u­als at risk early, and to work with them to in­tro­duce pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures early.”

Bet­ter preven­tion mea­sures are keep­ing us health­ier

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