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Public warned over signs of stroke

At the recent NIMAST and UK Stroke Forum Joint Conference held in Lisburn, Health Minister Edwin Poots called on the public to help cut the number of strokes that occur in Northern Ireland every year.

The most recent figures from the Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke state that 4,000 people suffer from strokes here every year while 32,000 are living with the conditions that arise after suffering a stroke.

The Minister said raising awareness of early signs and symptoms could help lower numbers but prevention is extremely important.

He said: “Raising public awareness of the early signs and symptoms of stroke is enormously important. I hope that the F.A.S.T campaign which I launched last year will instil in people’s minds the importance of identifying these early and treating them as a medical emergency.”

Stressing the importance of stroke prevention, Northern Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride added: “Strokes are among the top six main causes of death in Northern Ireland.

“We must ensure that people are fully aware of the things which they can do themselves to help reduce the risk of stroke.

“Simple changes to a person’s lifestyle such as stopping smoking, eating a healthier diet and taking a little exercise can make a significant contribution in reducing the possibility of taking a stroke.”

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