1. A stroke is a brain attack. Someone in the UK has a stroke every five minutes.
A stroke happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off by a clot or bleeding in the brain. When brain cells are starved of oxygen they die.
2. According to the World Health Organisation stroke is second most common cause of death in the world.
3. Stroke causes three times as many deaths a year in women than Breast Cancer in the UK. Stroke also causes twice as many deaths a year in men than Prostate Cancer in the UK
4. Stroke doesn’t just happen to old people, a quarter of strokes occur in people under the age of 65. Sharon Stone had a stroke in 2001 aged 43.
Photo credit – John P de Graeve / Rex Features
5. In the UK black people are twice as likely to have a stroke, and at a younger age, than white people. This is because the black community are at greater risk of sickle cell disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, conditions that can lead to stroke
If you are black and of African or Caribbean origin in the UK, you are twice as likely to have a stroke as the rest of the population. The Stroke Association has more information on what a stroke is, what some of the key risk factors are and what practical steps you can take to reduce your risk of stroke. View the factsheet here
6. Stroke can happen in young people, children and babies too. Jessie J had a stroke at the age of 18.
To view more information on Childhood Stroke please visit the Stroke Association website
7. The single biggest risk factor for stroke is high blood pressure. It has no symptoms, so you need to get it checked regularly with a painless test.
8. A stroke is a medical emergency. The best way to recognise a stroke is the FAST test: look for Facial weakness, Arm weakness or Speech problems. If you see any one of these signs it’s Time to call 999.
9. A stroke can have many long term effects, and not just physical ones. Strokes can also affect the way you think, feel and communicate. Stroke is the leading cause of complex disability in adults in the UK.
10. Around a third of stroke survivors have a condition called aphasia, which makes it difficult to speak, read or write.
You can find out more about aphasia on the Stroke Association website