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Saturday, 30 April 2005 10:53
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
Scottish patients surviving strokes up by 10%
According to figures released by ISD Scotland, the NHS unit that produces health statistics for Scotland show the number of Scottish patients who survive a stroke has increased by 10 per cent in nine years.

The number of people surviving for 30 days after an emergency hospital admission following a stroke has raised from 69.9 per cent in 1994 to 79.8 per cent in 2003. Between 1995 and 2003, the survival rate from heart attacks rose from 81.1 per cent to 84.1 per cent and for angina from 98.1 per cent to 98.7 per cent.

Statistics by ISD Scotland show Scotland has the worst rate of heart disease in the EU compared with former eastern bloc countries.

David Clark, the chief executive of research and care charity Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland, said: "We are actually doing better than south of the Border.

"Strokes are one of the conditions where, historically, we have had one of the worst records in Europe but we have put more investment into stroke services in Scotland than proportionately in England and Wales. For example, we have a higher proportion of patients who are treated in dedicated stroke units than in England.

"It will take some years for this to fully show through in improved figures but I think we can be confident that the increase in survival rates will be maintained and in terms of strokes it should help to shake off our reputation as the sick man of Europe, which is a bit undeserved now."

Andy Kerr, the health minister, said: "Overall these figures make encouraging reading and show continued improvement in heart disease and stroke care. The shortest cardiac waiting times in the UK are north of the Border, and we have invested £40 million over three years for services for both conditions.

"There has also been huge falls in mortality in under-75s since 1995," Mr Kerr went on.

"However, while the figures are moving in the right direction, we have still got a lot to do if we are to improve Scotland’s poor health record.

"Many Scots are at risk of falling victim to both conditions due to poor diet and lack of regular physical activity. Smoking rates in Scotland are still sky high and alcohol misuse is also a serious risk factor”.


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