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Cardiovascular disease prevention

How can strokes be prevented?

Up to 80% of strokes could be prevented. There are a number of risk factors associated with the condition including age, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, existing conditions such as high cholesterol, sickle cell disease, diabetes or Atrial Fibrillation (AF), previous Transient Ischaemic Attacks (TIAs) and other lifestyle factors including smoking, alcohol intake, weight and exercise levels. We want to reduce the number of people having a stroke in our region by helping clinicians to better manage their risks.

Public Health England regularly publish cardiovascular disease profiles by area plus a range of other resources to help guide professionals make improvements in prevention.

National guidance

The Royal College of Physicians National Clinical Guideline for Stroke 2016 (section 5 pages 89-112) makes recommendations on carotid artery stenosis, blood pressure, lipid modification, anti-thrombotic treatment, anti-coagulation, other risk factors including AF and lifestyle.  The management of TIA is also included in the guideline (section 3 pages 35-38) and there is a concise version for primary care.

Support available

Primary care staff can access our stroke online training package and find out more about how the network can help GP practices better recognise stroke and TIA and manage patients with these conditions here.

We also have a programme of free, local training events that include topics on preventing stroke, with other online resources also signposted.

You can view a summary of key information on secondary prevention here.

The first few weeks following discharge from hospital after a stroke can be when patients are at highest risk. We have developed a checklist for primary care and community teams to ensure risks are appropriately managed to reduce the risk of another stroke.

Our Voluntary Services Directory includes a range of local services aimed at improving lifestyle, with other opportunities:

  • Couch to 5k – mobile app for beginners to running/jogging
  • RunTogether – directory of local running/jogging opportunities
  • Parkrun – timed 5k events suitable for all abilities; can be walked
  • Transport for Greater Manchester walking and cycling pages
  • GMActive – brings together local organisations committed to improving physical activity in the city
  • GreaterSport – signposts to a range of sports in Greater Manchester

The Public Health England’s One You Campaign provides online support for many aspects of improving lifestyle including exercise, smoking, diet and alcohol intake.