Skip to content

Be stroke aware this September

3 minute read

Did you know one in six people will suffer a stroke at some stage in their lifetime? As one of our biggest killers, stroke kills more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer, affecting one Australian every 10 minutes. However, in many of these cases, it can be prevented.

National Stroke Week will be held from the 14-20 September and provides a great opportunity to learn more about stroke, how to reduce your own risk and how to help loved ones minimise their risk as well.

What is a stroke?

According to the National Stroke Foundation, a stroke happens when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted by a blocked or burst artery. With oxygen-rich blood no longer available to flow through the artery, brain cells quickly die. The longer the stroke remains untreated, the greater the chance of stroke-related brain damage.

How can you be stroke aware?

Seeking emergency medical treatment as soon as possible is key to improving a stroke sufferer's chance of survival and successful rehabilitation. Learning how to recognise the symptoms of a stroke in its early stages could help save your own or someone else's life.

If you suspect someone may be having a stroke, the National Stroke Foundation suggests you think F.A.S.T:

  • Face: Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
  • Arms: Can they lift both arms?
  • Speech: Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
  • Time: Is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away

How can you reduce your risk?

There are a number of simple lifestyle changes we can all adopt to reduce the risk of becoming a statistic. Inspiring your loved ones to live healthy is one of the biggest things you can do to help them avoid stroke. Here are a few simple tips from the National Stroke Foundation.

  1. Know your blood pressure: The lower your blood pressure, the lower your stroke risk.
  2. Drop the salt: Cut down on takeaway food and don't add salt at the table or when cooking.
  3. Healthy eating: Enjoy a variety of foods, especially plant-based foods including fresh fruit and vegetable, legumes and wholegrain breads and cereals.
  4. Get Active: Try to exercise regularly. At least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week is recommended.
  5. Limit your alcohol intake: Stay within recommended limits for drinking alcohol. No more than two standard drinks per day.
  6. Be smoke free, quit smoking: Call the Quitline on 13 78 48.

What will you do this Stroke Week?

Use this Stroke Week as an opportunity to book a medical check-up for yourself and encourage your friends and family to do the same. It's a good idea to have your blood pressure checked and your risk for type two diabetes and cardiovascular disease assessed by a health professional to make sure you're in tip-top condition.

How will you take action against stroke? Inspire your friends and family and share your efforts with us using #nibhealthfunds #strokeweek15 on social media. For more information about stroke, including how to prevent and recognise stroke, visit the National Stroke Foundation website.

nib foundation is a proud supporter of the National Stroke Foundation and their My Stroke Journey project, helping survivors and carers of stroke. Find out more about the program on the nib Foundation website.

See all articles

Articles you might also like

Speed saves when it comes to stroke

A speedy reaction to stroke can assist in the treatment and recovery of stroke victims.

Paul 'The Chief' Harragon reveals his 8 health tips for men

Paul Harragon reveals his secrets to a healthy body & mind.

5 surprising health mistakes Millennials make

Born 1982-2004? Here are 5 health mistakes you're making

Does your postcode determine the type of healthcare you get?

A huge difference in treatment depending on where you live.

Speed saves when it comes to stroke

A speedy reaction to stroke can assist in the treatment and recovery of stroke victims.

Paul 'The Chief' Harragon reveals his 8 health tips for men

Paul Harragon reveals his secrets to a healthy body & mind.

5 surprising health mistakes Millennials make

Born 1982-2004? Here are 5 health mistakes you're making

Does your postcode determine the type of healthcare you get?

A huge difference in treatment depending on where you live.