Brussels, Belgium (ots/PRNewswire) - Preliminary results from the
world's most comprehensive global stroke survey are announced today
by the Stroke Alliance for Europe (SAFE) and AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN).
The initial survey results point to a widespread lack of awareness of
Eighty one per cent of patients and carers surveyed were not aware
of stroke's symptoms before they were affected by the disease. After
a stroke, patients' awareness levels increased but only to 66 %. Just
30 % of stroke patients realised they were experiencing a stroke once
their symptoms started.
Awareness of the risk factors for stroke was also very low among
patients. Despite 54 % of patients surveyed suffering from high blood
pressure, only a third were aware that hypertension was a risk factor
for stroke. Only 13 % of patients thought they could be at risk
before they suffered a stroke.
Arne Hagen, President of SAFE said, "Recognising the signs and
symptoms of stroke is essential for getting patients to hospital
early - stroke is a disease where time to treatment affects the level
of disability. If patients are recognised and diagnosed earlier, it
will help reduce stroke-related disability seen in some patients.
More awareness raising programmes are needed to help patients
affected by this neglected disease."
These preliminary survey results are from a total of 362
individuals who completed a written questionnaire. Of these,
approximately 59 per cent were stroke patients and 41 per cent
One surprising statistic challenges the concept that stroke is an
old persons' disease; 26 % of patients who completed the survey were
under 60 years of age when they suffered their first stroke.
The full survey, the results of which are expected in early 2007,
will be extensive; a total of 2,400 patients and 2,400 caregivers
will be polled following recruitment through medical professionals.
Participating countries include France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK,
Sweden, Australia, China, Canada and the USA. The preliminary results
announced today are from France, Germany, UK, Sweden, Spain and
Italy. A steering committee, consisting of patient organisations such
as SAFE and leading stroke experts is guiding the development of the
The research project, launched in partnership with SAFE at the
European Stroke Conference (ESC) meeting in May 2006, aims to assess
the true burden, social consequences, and functional and emotional
distress caused by stroke around the world.
Fifteen million people worldwide suffer a stroke each year; 5.5
million of these die and a further 5 million are left with varying
degrees of disability.(1) Stroke represents the fourth biggest burden
of disease worldwide, draining billions each year in healthcare
costs, rehabilitation and lost productivity. Stroke is the second
cause of death worldwide and a leading cause of adult disability in
developed countries.(1) Despite these figures, many in Europe are
unaware of the risk factors, symptoms and potential consequences of
AstraZeneca is a company with a firm commitment to stroke
research, which continues to support scientists, physicians, and
patients with the aim of improving stroke treatment.
AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged
in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of
prescription pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services.
It is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with
healthcare sales of over $21.4 billion and leading positions in sales
of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory, oncology and
AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index
(Global) as well as the FTSE4Good Index.
The Neuroscience pipeline includes investigational compounds for
the treatment of depression and anxiety, dementia, stroke, pain
control and anaesthesia.
About SAFE: The aims and objectives of SAFE, a non-profit-making
organisation, are to promote awareness and understanding of stroke,
to promote prevention, to identify those at risk, to improve access
to appropriate treatment and care, to improve the quality of life of
people affected by stroke and their families and carers, to promote
better access to accurate and understandable information, to increase
the priority given to stroke by policy and decision-makers and by
health care providers, to promote research on stroke and related
areas and to co-ordinate the efforts of national stroke patient
groups in Europe.
For more information, visit http://www.safestroke.org/
1. The Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke, World Health
Organisation, 2004. Available at:
ots Originaltext: AstraZeneca
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch
For further information contact: Virginie Bousquet, Global PR
Manager, AstraZeneca, Tel: +44-(0)-162- 551-7831, +44-792-084 507,
Virginie.Bousquet@AstraZeneca.com. Sarah Schapira, Senior Account
Executive, Porter Novelli, Tel:+44-207-853-2365,
Sarah.Schapira@porternovelli.co.uk. Alternatively visit