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New Poll Reveals Misconceptions about Stroke among Canadians

A report released by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada suggests that Canadians have plenty of misconceptions about stroke, and what it takes to recover from one. The poll conducted by the HSFC found that half of all Canadians have a close family member or a friend who has had a stroke and that many of these people do not realize that it may take weeks or months to recover from one.

Dr. Sean Dukelow, a researcher at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary, was surprised that one in five Canadians thinks a stroke is always fatal, when in fact only 10 percent of people die from it. Most stroke victims live; however, the recovery may sometimes takes weeks, months or even years.

Similarly, less than two-thirds of Canadians know that most strokes can be prevented. Also, almost one in six believes once a person has recovered from a stroke there is nothing they can do to prevent another one. The fact is up to 80 per cent of premature heart disease and strokes can be prevented by managing risk factors.

The poll also reveals that more than one-third of Canadians believe that the recovery period of a stroke is limited to a few months. The truth is that recovery can last a life time in some cases. Dr. Dukelow points out that a stroke affects more than just the patient, but also their family and friends. "Without supportive family, some of the patients that I see end up in a nursing home or a long-term care setting because they don't have a family who can support them through the process," he says.

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, stroke is the third leading cause of death in Canada. Every ten minutes a Canadian suffers a stroke, and as the population continues to age these numbers are bound to increase. The results of this poll suggest that Canadians need more education and increased awareness about stroke and its effects.

Read the Heart and Stroke Foundation 2013 Report here:

Read the news article here

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