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Older stroke patients 'subject to ageism'

Older stroke patients 'subject to ageism'
17th April 2009

Claims that stroke patients in the UK are being subjected to ageism have surfaced shortly after health secretary Alan Johnson called for an end to such discrimination in the NHS.

According to a recent study in the Postgraduate Medical Journal, it was understood that patients over the age of 75 are much less likely to be provided with relevant diagnostic tests and lifestyle advice relating to strokes, with younger patients getting preferential treatment.

MRI scans, for example, were given to one in four younger patients, while only one in 20 individuals over the 75-year-old mark were provided with the same facilities.

Commenting on the research, Michelle Mitchell, the charity director for Age Concern and Help the Aged, stated: "This is another shocking example of ageism in the NHS, resulting in older people being denied the care and treatment they need because they are deemed 'too old'."

According to more research this week, it was found that cholesterol-lowering drugs could reduce the risk of strokes by around a fifth, with results published in the Lancet Neurology journal.

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