Public Health England has launched a new campaign in light of figures which suggest a larger proportion of younger people are suffering strokes.
The most recent research suggests that one in six people will have a stroke in their lifetime, with 30 per cent of those going on to experience a second.
But new evidence suggests that, while the majority of strokes occur in the older generations, more than a third (38 per cent) of first-time strokes happen in middle-aged adults – defined as being between the ages of 40 and 69.
Compared to a decade ago, first-time strokes are occurring at an earlier age on a more frequent basis. The figures show that the average age for males having a stroke fell from 71 to 68 years old, and for females 75 to 73 years old.
Professor Julia Verne, Public Health England Director, said: “Stroke is still one of the leading causes of death in England. While it’s often associated with older people, the latest research shows that people are having strokes at a younger age. Everyone needs to be aware of the signs.
“Calling 999 as soon as you see even one of the symptoms develop – in the face, arms and speech – is essential. Speedy treatment will help prevent deaths and disability.”
Juliet Bouverie, CEO of the Stroke Association, added: “As the UK’s leading stroke charity, we have said time and again that stroke devastates lives in an instant. Almost two thirds of stroke survivors leave hospital with a disability, but it doesn’t have to be this way. The faster you seek and receive emergency specialist treatment for stroke, the better your chances of making a good recovery. Knowing the signs of stroke and being able to Act FAST could save a life – your life.”