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Ed Sheeran

Lifestyle change support needed for stroke fix

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Lifestyle change could be the key to reducing the high levels of stroke among Maori.

But a lack of community awareness and support means many people don’t know how to make those changes.

That’s the stroke awareness week warning from Rita Krishnamurthi from AUT University’s National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences.

She says Maori have a higher incidence of stroke than Pakeha and get them on average 15 years younger.

Contributing factors to strokes, which are an interruption of blood supply in the brain, include high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes.

"Socioeconomic factors do play a part because possibly access to adequate medical care, access to healthier foods because we all know fruit and vegetables in New Zealand are quite expensive. Perople tend to choose the cheaper options of fast foods which appear to be cheaper at the time but have long term terrible consequences," Dr Krishnamurthi says.

The National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences has developed a Stroke Riskometer app that helps people calculate their risk risk by evaluating factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, lifestyle and other health factors that directly influence the likelihood of a stroke within the next 5 and 10 years.

FULL INTERVIEW RITA KRISHNAMURTHI

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