Understanding the impact of stroke

May is dedicated to stroke awareness, which aims to highlight symptoms and prevention.

The month serves as a reminder of the importance of understanding stroke, its impact, and how to prevent it.

Stroke is the second leading cause of death and the third leading cause of death and disability combined. [1]

It can affect people of all ages, races and backgrounds.

We have dedicated a webpage featuring key facts, general information and advice on how to spot the signs.

By raising awareness, we can work towards improving outcomes for those affected.


Facts and figures unmasking the impact of stroke

Stats about frequency and number of people affected by stroke Fact about financial impact of stroke and incidence of stroke


Impact of stroke on our younger population

Stats on incidence of stroke in young population Stats around incidence of stroke in young population


Causes of stroke

A stroke is a serious life-threatening condition that happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Like all organs, the brain needs oxygen and nutrients provided by blood to function properly. If the blood supply is restricted, brain cells begin to die. This can lead to brain injury, disability and potentially death.

There are two main causes of strokes:

Ischaemic – where the blood supply is stopped because of a blood clot, accounting for 85% of all cases.

Haemorrhagic – where a weakened blood vessel supplying the brain bursts.

There is also a related condition called a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) where the blood supply to the brain is interrupted, causing what is known as a mini-stroke. These are often a warning sign the person is at risk of having a full stroke and is urged to seek medical advice immediately.[3]


Risk factors increasing the incidence of stroke

Certain medical conditions increase the risk of stroke, including:

  • High blood pressure (56% increased risk)
  • High cholesterol (10% increased risk)
  • High body mass index (24% increased risk)
  • Air pollution (20% increased risk)
  • Smoking (18% increased risk)
  • Poor diet (31% increased risk)
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Diabetes

You can significantly reduce your risk of stroke if you:

  • Eat well
  • Take regular exercise
  • Follow alcohol advice (not drinking more than 14 units a week)
  • Quit smoking

Sources: NHS & World Stroke Organisation


Recognizing the signs of a stroke

BE FAST acronym to recognise signs of strokeRecognizing the signs of a stroke and acting fast can save lives. Remember the acronym BE FAST: Balance; Eyes; Face drooping; Arm weakness; Speech difficulty; Time to call emergency services. Seeking immediate medical attention is crucial in the event of a stroke.  




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[1]: World Stroke Organisation (WSO) - Global Stroke Fact Sheet 2022 

[2]: Neurology Journals - Stroke in young adults

[3]: NHS

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