Health Minister Terry Lake has issued the following statement in recognition of World Stroke Day:
“Throughout Canada and worldwide, stroke is a leading cause of death and long-term disability. The World Stroke Organization estimates nearly six million people die of stroke each year. In British Columbia alone, more than 7,200 patients are admitted to hospital each year for stroke and mini stroke. World Stroke Day is a chance to raise awareness, share stories and learn to prevent this illness that affects so many.
“Thanks to the work of our partners, Stroke Services BC, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, local health authorities, health-care professionals and patients themselves, British Columbia has seen a steady decline in hospital mortality rates for stroke patients in the last four years. We now have one of the lowest mortality rates for stroke in the country.
“People, however, are getting older, and they are developing more complex and chronic conditions that can result in complications like stroke. World Stroke Day serves as a valuable reminder of how important it is that we build on the work we’ve done and help people learn what they can do to prevent stroke and recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke to get treatment quickly. Living a healthy, active lifestyle free of tobacco is the first step toward reducing one’s risk of developing a chronic illness. The many programs offered through Healthy Families BC, such as Informed Dining and the smoking cessation program, can help get British Columbians on the track to life-long health.
“Stroke is a medical emergency and can happen at any age. Symptoms can include sudden limb weakness, headaches, dizziness and problems with vision or speech. Anyone recognizing these signs in themselves or a loved one should call 9-1-1 immediately in order to ensure the right treatment at the right time. To learn more, visit: www.heartandstroke.ca”
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)