Braddon Going Backwards In Stroke Awareness

Stroke Foundation

Stroke Foundation research has revealed concerning figures around how many Braddon residents know about the most common risk factors for stroke.

Stroke Foundation’s F.A.S.T. (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) National Awareness survey found the region is falling behind, with new data revealing that awareness of the key lifestyle and health risk factors leading to stroke has fallen since last year.

In 2023, Stroke Foundation commissioned YouGov to survey thousands of Australians on their awareness of the signs and risks of stroke and test their knowledge of the F.A.S.T. acronym which highlights the most common signs of stroke (F for facial droop, A for inability to lift both arms, S for slurred speech and T stands for time- stroke is always a medical emergency so call an ambulance immediately).

The survey also measures Australians’ awareness of the modifiable risk factors of stroke. It revealed Braddon residents’ awareness of all top five modifiable risk factors has decreased since 2022, with awareness of high cholesterol dropping the most (-12%).

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Dr Lisa Murphy, says by turning this number around, strokes can be prevented.

“We know that 80 per cent of strokes are preventable. Awareness is key to prevention and treatment so it’s important that people recognise the risk factors like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking, so they can make lifestyle changes where applicable and reduce their risk of having a stroke,” she said.

“Speak to your GP about a health check and seek advice about reducing your risk of stroke. Eating a healthy diet, being physically active, not smoking and limiting alcohol intake are all steps that can be taken.”

In positive news, the survey also found three in four (76%) Braddon residents could recall at least one of the F.A.S.T. signs of stroke when unprompted, with 59% correctly identifying all three signs.

“Stroke Foundation’s aim is for someone in every workplace and household to know the signs of a stroke and the F.A.S.T acronym. I’d encourage everyone to learn the signs and share it with their friends and family because we know this acronym saves lives,” she said.

“Every stroke is an emergency and must be treated that way so a call to triple zero (000) is absolutely the first action that should be taken. We know the sooner a stroke patient receives specialist emergency treatment, the better their chances of survival and a good recovery.”

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