Older people are suffering from fewer strokes

Strokes are more common among middle-aged people according to data released today from Public Health England (PHE).

The statistics suggest more first-time strokes are occurring at an earlier age compared to a decade ago.

The average age has fallen from 71 to 68 years for men, and 75 to 73 for females between 2007 and 2016.

In the same period of time, the proportion of first-time strokes among 40 to 69-year-olds rose from 33% to 38%.

The decrease in average age for first-time strokes is, it appears, because of a fall in the proportion of strokes suffered by over-70s.

This has been attributed to better healthcare for the elderly, including health checks helping to monitor stroke risk factors according to PHE’s report.

They said: “Stroke is the third most common cause of premature death, and a leading cause of disability in the UK.”

The campaign

New campaign, Act F.A.S.T., organised by PHE warns people to look out for early signs.

They said: “Awareness is crucial, so the campaign reaches out to people of all ages to highlight the risk of stroke and reiterates the signs and how vital it is that people call 999 and get to hospital as soon as possible”.

Strokes occur when blood supply to the brain is cut off, but looking out for early signs can reduce the risk of disability or death.

Juliet Bouverie, CEO of the Stroke association said: “Stroke is the killer condition that has been ignored for too long in the UK. These latest figures suggest that stroke is increasingly occurring in people at a younger age. This urgently needs to change.”

What to look out for

Face – Has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?

Arms – Can they raise both their arms and keep them there?

Speech – Is their speech slurred?

Time – Time to call 999

For any more information about strokes and the FAST campaign, please visit the NHS website.

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