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People ‘unaware of stroke risk’

19th July 2007

People are unaware of the symptoms and serious impact of stroke, a new survey has revealed.

Stroke is the UK’s third-largest cause of death and can also leave sufferers blind, paralysed or unable to speak. Symptoms include facial weakness, arm weakness and speech problems.

But a study conducted by The Stroke Association found that people would be more likely to call their bank after losing a bank card than call an ambulance if they experienced the symptoms of stroke.

Nearly 70 per cent of women and 59 per cent of men said they would call 999 immediately after stroke symptoms in comparison to nearly 90 per cent of men and women who would call their bank straight away about a missing card.

A recent survey also found that people underestimate their chances of suffering from a stroke, with respondents saying they thought they are more likely to be mugged than have a stroke.

Yet figures show that although a mugging takes place up to every 13 minutes, someone has a stroke every five minutes.

Joe Korner, director of communications at The Stroke Association, said they survey’s findings show that stroke is “way down” on the public’s agenda.

“People simply do not realise the devastation that a stroke can cause or that it can be prevented,” he added.

The charity has launched a campaign – Leading the Fight Against Brain Attacks – to improve people’s understanding of stroke and to improve funding.

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