SA women more likely to be killed by stroke than men - foundation

South Africans are encouraged to make healthier lifestyle choices as the world will highlight Stroke Day on Tuesday.

FILE: Health experts said the main contributing factors were elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Picture: Pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN - The Heart and Stroke Foundation said women in South Africa were more likely to be killed by stroke compared to men.

South Africans are encouraged to make healthier lifestyle choices as the world will highlight Stroke Day on Tuesday.

Health experts said the main contributing factors were elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

The foundation's Biana Tromp said strokes were ranked the second biggest killer for women in the country and the sixth killer for men.

“Look at their face, ask them to smile and if one side is dropping, that is a sign of a stroke. You can also ask them to keep their arms up, and if one arm falls, then that might be a sign of a stroke.”

SIGNS OF A STROKE:

Because stroke is usually not painful, patients may ignore the signs or symptoms and not seek medical attention, in the hope that they will improve. Acute stroke or TIA should be treated as a medical emergency and should be evaluated as soon as possible.

The common signs and symptoms of a stroke include:

Sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arm or leg (most often on one side of the body);

Sudden loss of speech, difficulty speaking or understanding speech;

Sudden confusion;

Sudden loss of vision;

Sudden severe, unusual headache;

Sudden dizziness, loss of balance and trouble with walking.

Act…F-A-S-T!

FAST is a simple way to remember the signs of a stroke and that it’s important to seek medical help urgently:

F – Face drooping

A – Arm weakness

S – Speech difficulty

T – Time to call emergency medical services

Visit the foundation's website to find out more.