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Stroke deaths last year below 2,000 for first time in years

Figures also confirmed that almost twice as many women as men died from stroke.

Image: heart image via Shutterstock

THE NUMBER OF stroke deaths in Ireland has fallen below the 2,000 mark for the first time in years, following a 9 per cent fall in mortality in the last four years, figures revealed today.

Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures showed the number of deaths nationally fell by 188 to 1,928 to the end of 2012 despite our ageing population and a dramatic increase globally in the incidence of the disease. The figures also confirmed that almost twice as many women as men died from stroke.

Today on World Stroke Day the Irish Heart Foundation issued a ‘Red Alert’ to women to be vigilant about the warning signs of stroke after the statistics revealed that 53 per cent more women than men died from stroke here in 2012.

The charity’s spokesperson Chris Macey said: “The higher death rate from stroke among women is not widely known. The fact is that stroke kills almost twice as many women as breast cancer in Ireland which is why we are particularly asking women to make a special effort to be aware of the FAST warning signs today on World Stroke Day.”

The F.A.S.T. acronym stands for:

  • Face – has their face fallen on one side?
  • Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there?
  • Speech – is their speech slurred?
  • Time – time to call 999 if you see any one of these signs.

“By knowing the warning signs, people can have a huge influence on their outcome after stroke, but only if they act on them,” Macey said. “The average stroke destroys roughly two million brain cells every minute, so the quicker you get to hospital after a stroke, literally the more of your brain can be saved. But you have to call an ambulance immediately. There’s no advantage in knowing the signs if you don’t act on them.”

Read: Two thirds of Irish adults are eating more fat than their body needs>

Read: More than half of Irish people over 50 have two or more chronic diseases>

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