UK Faces 50% Surge in Stroke Cases by 2035

Credit: TheGuardian - Remember to save credit for the source!

London (Parliament News) – UK faces a 50% surge in strokes by 2035, costing £75bn in healthcare and productivity losses. Lifestyle factors, the ageing population, and inadequate prevention efforts contribute to the projected rise.

The number of people in Britain undergoing a stroke will grow more than 50% to 151,000 a year by 2035, commanding the NHS and the economy £75bn in healthcare and misplaced productivity, stark new projections indicate.

What Factors Are Blamed for the Projected Increase in Strokes?

According to the Guardian, Declining physical health, rising alcohol consumption and low activity levels among an ageing population as well as a loss by ministers and the health service to do more to stop ill health are blamed for the predicted spike in strokes.

Juliet Bouverie, the chief executive of the Stroke Association, which delivered the new analysis, cautioned that without urgent action the massive impact on the NHS and the economy would be “unsustainable” within a decade.

A spectrum of lifestyle factors will fuel the anticipated rise in strokes over the next decade, she stated, on top of the ageing population and inadequate action on prevention. 

What Lifestyle Changes Could Help Prevent Strokes?

The UK is getting undersized healthy,” Bouverie informed the Guardian. “People are paying more of their lives in poor health and we can notice that lifestyle factors such as harmful drinking have increased.

“Physical activity levels remain low, a large proportion of the population are inactive and the gap in physical activity rates between the most and least deprived areas is growing. This risks exacerbating the health inequalities between areas in the UK.”

Why Is High Blood Pressure a Major Concern?

The biggest danger factor for stroke remains high blood pressure, Bouverie said, but the situation is still underdiagnosed. “We have been calling for adequate hypertension detection programmes for years so that more people can be sustained to manage their blood pressure and decrease their risk of stroke through lifestyle changes or prescription. The rate of prescribing blood pressure-reducing medication remains too low.”

A new manifesto issued by the charity says stroke will cost the UK around £43bn this year, with 100,000 new stroke hospital entries a year. This is expected to increase to 151,000 admissions by 2035 – the equal of 414 a day – with the number of stroke survivors rising from 1.3 million to 2.1 million.

Costs linked with the growth could top £75bn, which includes projected gains in health and social care costs, as well as informal care costs, and the influence on the economy. About a quarter of strokes impact people of working age, the report states.  “If the next government fails to contain prevention, treatment and recovery at the root, then stroke will evolve the most avoidable load on the NHS,” Bouverie stated.

What Measures Does the Stroke Association Propose?

The Stroke Association is urging the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to publicise a funded stroke prevention strategy to support people of all ages to reduce their risk of stroke.

This includes enhancing the way people detect and manage conditions that enhance the risk of stroke, such as high blood pressure. The charity also desires all patients to have 24-hour admission to thrombectomies – a surgery to clear blood clots from the artery.

The process is usually carried out up to six hours after stroke symptoms start. The charity calculates that making thrombectomies universally unrestricted could save the health and care system £73m each year and would permit 1,600 more stroke survivors to be independent.

Massimiliano  Verde

Massimiliano Verde is a journalist at Parliament News, He is covering Society and Culture News. Boasting a Master's Degree in Political Science, stands as a prominent figure in the Italian cultural landscape. His presidency of the Neapolitan Academy, a scientifically and sociolinguistically renowned group, attests to his relentless dedication to safeguarding and promoting Neapolitan language and culture. His activism and profound expertise have propelled him into the role of interlocutor for UNESCO as part of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032), a prestigious acknowledgment highlighting the significance of his efforts in preserving the linguistic and cultural diversity of our planet.

Verde's fervent passion for the history and culture of Southern Italy has driven him to immerse himself in research, resulting in numerous essays and articles that delve into the peculiarities and beauties of the region. His commitment extends beyond academia, manifesting in ongoing dissemination activities aimed at acquainting the general public with the rich cultural heritage of the South. His endeavors transcend national boundaries, as evidenced by his participation in international conferences and collaboration with various foreign institutions, rendering him an ambassador of Southern culture on the global stage and fostering intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding.