1000 to die from stroke

More than 1000 West Australians will die from stroke this year, a number fuelled by the quarter of the population with high cholesterol.

The finding comes from the first Australia-wide analysis of strokes, which estimates that 4652 people in WA will have a stroke this year.

The Deloitte Access Economics report for the National Stroke Foundation shows though WA fares better than most States for risk factors such as high cholesterol and blood pressure, the condition is costing millions of dollars in lost lives and disability.

Stroke costs the Australian economy $5 billion a year, including $3 billion in lost productivity.

By this end of this year, more than 41,000 West Australians will be stroke survivors, many left with permanent disabilities.

The report showed stroke was having a big impact in Perth's western and northern suburbs, as well the inner north-east. Rockingham, Kwinana, Armadale and Mandurah also have high rates.

WA National Stroke Foundation executive officer Jonine Collins said among those at risk were the 26 per cent of people with high cholesterol and the 17 per cent with high blood pressure.

Almost half of West Australians were not active enough, another risk factor.

"Our report shows that no postcode has been left untouched by stroke," Ms Collins said.

"Stroke kills more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer. It places significant demands on health services, families and the community."

The foundation said almost 440,000 Australians lived with the effects of stroke. This was predicted to reach 700,000 by 2032. South Australia has the highest stroke burden per head of population, with 256 strokes for every 100,000 people expected this year.

In WA, the rate is below the national average and one of the lowest of all States, with 191 strokes per 100,000 people.

Federal Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash said the report showed where governments and health providers needed to do more work to reduce risk factors.

The West Australian

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