A significant proportion of women living in the UK continue to underestimate their risk of stroke, with as many as one in eight under the mistaken belief it could never happen to them.
According to the latest statistics, around 30,000 women die from a stroke each year, making it the third-biggest killers in the UK.
Despite this, however, a new poll carried out to coincide with World Stroke Day has found that three in four British women massively underestimate the scale of the problem, with one in eight of those polled living with the false assumption that a stroke is something that could never happen to them.
Moreover, two in three of those women polled by the Stroke Association were found to be unaware that their risk of having a stroke increases as they get older.
Commenting on the "extremely worrying" findings, Nikki Hill, deputy director of external affairs at the Stroke Association, explained that more needs to be done to get the threat posed by strokes "on the radar" of women of all ages.
"This should serve as a wake-up call to women of all ages to be aware and better informed of the steps they can take to reduce their stroke risk," she noted.
"Simple lifestyle changes, such as keeping blood pressure under control, exercising regularly and stopping smoking, could significantly lower women’s likelihood of having a stroke."
At the same time, however, the research also found that many women are aware of the scale of the threat posed by strokes, with most more concerned about the potential long-term consequences of an attack rather than about a stroke itself.
In particular, the study found that half of women in England and Wales fear they would become reliant on others if they were to have a stroke, while a similar proportion worry they might lose their memory.
Statistics show that there are around 150,000 strokes each year in the UK and, while adults over the age of 65 are most likely to be affected, anyone - including babies and young children - can have a stroke.
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