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Enhanced checks needed to save lives

Enhanced checks needed to save lives
Photo: Enhanced checks needed to save lives
The release of new data stating one in five Australians is affected by multiple chronic diseases highlights the vital need for improved systems for detecting and managing stroke risk.

The National Stroke Foundation is calling on the Federal Government to save lives and money through early detection of chronic disease risk.

National Stroke Foundation Clinical Council Chair Dr Bruce Campbell said the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) chronic disease data demonstrated the urgent need for national government action to support routine health checks by General Practitioners (GPs) to reduce stroke and heart disease through earlier detection of hypertension, diabetes, atrial fibrillation and chronic kidney disease.
“This data shows 20 percent of Australians are currently suffering from multiple chronic conditions - increasing their chance of stroke which places a significant drag on Australian health care resources, with large economic, social and individual costs,’’ Dr Campbell said.

“Frighteningly, almost 40 percent of Australians aged 45 and over were found to have multiple chronic conditions, and their impact is set to worsen as the population ages. The Federal Government must act now to reduce chronic disease and address its impact into the future.

“Stroke, heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease share common risk factors. So one simple combined assessment by the General Practitioner for these risks would prevent significant disease and thousands of hospital admissions.

“Patients found to be at risk can then be supported to manage and reduce their risk through prescribed medication and through referral to lifestyle management programs which aid people to quit smoking, lose weight and live healthier lives,” he said.

Dr Campbell said early detection and treatment programs were vital in preventing unnecessary suffering caused by stroke.

“The AIHW’s data clearly demonstrates the need for prevention programs, simple early detection checks and management in general practice to help people identify health issues before an emergency strikes,’’ Dr Campbell said.

“Thousands of Australians and their families are feeling the full impact of stroke when it might have been prevented.

“There will be were more than 50,000 strokes in this country this year and that number is expected to almost double by 2032. We need to take action now before it’s too late.

“Stroke is one of this country’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability. We must empower Australians to identify and manage their health risk by delivering a national health check program,” he said.

For more information on the National Stroke Foundation visit


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