A major campaign across the Isle of Wight has been launched to encourage Islanders to become more aware of their levels of alcohol intake, blood pressure and cholesterol to help reduce the chance of stroke.
It is believed that improved knowledge of the above will decrease the chance of stroke amongst Islanders, as well as contributing to a reduction in a number of other conditions including heart attacks.
A stroke is a serious, life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Strokes are a medical emergency and urgent treatment is essential because the sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen. But it is better if strokes can be prevented from happening in the first place.
The campaign includes a leaflet and poster campaign; four weeks of radio advertising; print and digital advertising and materials available from www.mylifeafulllife.com. The campaign has been funded by the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group and supported by unrestricted educational grants from Boehringer Ingelheim and Merck Sharp & Dohme.
During 2013/2014 1,489 people on the Isle of Wight had either a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA). Of those, 386 were hospitalised for at least 1 night. That’s more than one per day.
There are 5,627 people with Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) on the Isle of Wight, of which only 4,957 have blood pressure treated to target, and only 3,921 have cholesterol treated to target. That means 8.8% of people with known CHD may have blood pressure above their target and 31% may have cholesterol levels above their target.
There are 7,585 people with known diabetes on the island, of which only 5,531 have blood pressure treated to target and only 5,234 have cholesterol treated to target. That means 28% of people with known diabetes may have blood pressure above their target, and 31% may have cholesterol above their target.
There are 24,238 people with known high blood pressure (BP) on the island of which 19,916 have a BP below 150/90, and only 13,284 have a BP of below 140/90. That means 18% of people with known hypertension may still have BP above 150/90, and 46% may have a BP over 140/90.
Island GP and driving force behind the campaign, Dr Alan Hayes said:
“The chances of a stroke can be greatly reduced if you are aware of and monitor your alcohol intake, blood pressure and cholesterol.
“It is very important that if you have been prescribed medicines by a doctor or nurse that you take them and monitor what you drink and eat. The other important factor is getting sufficient exercise to maintain a healthy weight.
“Monitoring all the known risks – alcohol, blood pressure and cholesterol is as easy as ABC – and you can significantly reduce your risk of a stroke.”