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Small changes can reduce your risk of stroke

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Stroke is the leading cause of disability worldwide so healthcare professionals in Lancashire and South Cumbria are urging the public to make small changes to their lifestyle to reduce their risk of stroke.

According to the World Stroke Organisation, 90 per cent of strokes are preventable so addressing a small number of risk factors can have a big impact.

World Stroke Day is on Sunday 29 October and the local NHS are taking this opportunity to spread awareness of the serious nature of strokes.

Dr David Levy, the medical director for NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board said: “There are several lifestyle choices that a person can make to greatly reduce their chance of having a stroke. These include getting your blood pressure checked which can be done at a local pharmacy, eating a balanced diet that consists of plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, limiting the amount of salt you eat, taking part in regular exercise, cutting down on alcohol and not smoking.

“The reason these lifestyle choices can help is that they reduce your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and your arteries becoming clogged with fatty substances.

“A stroke is a serious life-threatening medical condition that happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. It is a medical emergency and urgent treatment is essential. The sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen.”

One in four of us will have a stroke in our lifetime and patients who survive may lose their ability to speak, move or remember.

Health and care partners across Lancashire and South Cumbria will be supporting the message to act ‘F.A.S.T.’ to save lives.

F.A.S.T. stands for ‘Facial weakness – Arm weakness – Speech problems – Time to call 999’.

It is vital to remember that:

  • A stroke could happen to anyone at any time and is caused by either a block in a blood vessel that leads to the brain or by bleeding in or around the brain. Information can be found at www.stroke.org.uk/what-is-stroke/what-are-the-symptoms-of-stroke.
  • It is the fourth highest single cause of death in England.
  • There is a stroke programme across the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System. It aims to:
  • work with the population of Lancashire and South Cumbria on improving awareness of stroke and the lifestyle choices that can reduce the risks of experiencing stroke, and
  • deliver high-quality, safe, evidence-based treatment and care to those who have experienced stroke or are at increased risk of experiencing stroke in the future.

For more information on World Stroke Day you can explore the World Stroke Organisation website.

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