A new advertising campaign has been launched this week urging people to lead healthier lifestyles to help reduce their risk of stroke.
The Stroke Association's Weigh Up Your Risk radio campaign is being funded by the Welsh Assembly Government as part of Health Challenge Wales.
The radio adverts highlight that maintaining a healthy body weight could decrease high-blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing your risk of stroke by a third.
In the UK, someone has a stroke every five minutes. They are common among those over the age of 55, but can happen at any age. Strokes are the leading cause of disability in the UK, and the third most common cause of death, after cancer and heart disease.
The Chief Medical Officer for Wales Dr. Tony Jewell said: Giving up smoking, eating healthily and undertaking regular physical activity are important ways to reduce their risk of stroke. This campaign is a fantastic way of encouraging people to lead healthier lifestyles, particularly as we start a New Year. There are plenty of simple, everyday things people can do to guard against the risk of stroke, which will also help them reduce the risk of other conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer.
The campaign points people in the direction of the Stroke Association's website which provides helpful tips on healthy eating, how to make regular physical activity a part of your lifestyle and further information on stroke, high blood pressure and health checks. A helpline has also been set up to provide information for anyone concerned about the risks of stroke.
Leighton Veale of The Stroke Association said: We want to illustrate to people that a stroke can be prevented and following a healthier lifestyle and losing weight is part of this. The radio campaign is an effective and memorable way of doing this and with all Wales coverage over the next fortnight we hope to reach as many people as possible.
Emax Health, 20th January 2009
The radio campaign follows recommendations made last year by Health Minister Edwina Hart to improve stroke services across Wales