Re­port warns more money is vi­tal to stop stroke cri­sis in Wales

Glamorgan Gazette - - News -

WALES needs to in­vest more money in stroke ser­vices to pre­vent the coun­try “sleep­walk­ing into a cri­sis”, it has been warned.

A new re­port by the Stroke As­so­ci­a­tion into cur­rent, fu­ture and avoid­able costs has found that there will be as many as 100,000 stroke sur­vivors liv­ing in Wales by 2035 – a rise of 50%.

The char­ity also claims a third (35,000) of those peo­ple will be liv­ing with long-term dis­abil­i­ties.

While the sur­vival rate is im­prov­ing, it is feared the cost of treat­ing and car­ing for stroke pa­tients on the Welsh NHS is set to al­most treble from £133m in 2015 to £379m by 2035.

The re­port also re­veals that more than 110,000 peo­ple across the UK could be saved from hav­ing a stroke by 2035 if re­search into the lat­est stroke pre­ven­tion pro­ce­dures was prop­erly funded.

It con­cludes that a £10m in­vest­ment into pre­ven­tion re­search could change the story and save 114,000 peo­ple across the UK from hav­ing a “brain at­tack”.

Cur­rently, the Stroke As­so­ci­a­tion es­ti­mates that there are more than 66,000 stroke sur­vivors in Wales, while 65,000 peo- ple are known to have the heart con­di­tion atrial fib­ril­la­tion (AF), which in­creases a per­son’s risk of stroke five times.

But the char­ity has warned that many pa­tients in Wales are on a treat­ment that is not ef­fec­tively low­er­ing their stroke risk – or may not even have had the con­di­tion di­ag­nosed.

Around 500,000 peo­ple have been di­ag­nosed with high blood pres­sure, which is the biggest con­trol­lable risk fac­tor for stroke.

Yet it’s thought that around 350,000 peo­ple in Wales are un­aware they have the con­di­tion.

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