National Stroke Week 2023

With stroke being a leading cause of death and disability in Australia, according to health experts, National Stroke Week (7-13 August) is a great opportunity to raise awareness about the prevention, management and treatment of stroke.

“Around the world, a stroke occurs in every 1 in 4 people in their lifetime,” says Associate Professor Monique Kilkenny, Head of Big Data, Epidemiology, and Prevention Division, Stroke and Ageing, Monash University.

“Right now in Australia, there are over half a million people who have experienced a stroke. Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability.

“The number one risk factor for stroke is high blood pressure.

“Knowing the FAST signs of stroke, and responding promptly by calling 000, can drastically improve the outcomes for someone experiencing a stroke.

“This [National Stroke Week], have a conversation with your loved ones about the signs of stroke and monitoring blood pressure – the biggest risk factor for stroke.

“There have been major advances over the last decade in the treatments available for patients with stroke – but reaching the hospital in time remains the biggest challenge.

“National Stroke Week gives us the opportunity to be reminded about stroke and the importance of prevention and management of risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.”

Professor Dominique Cadilhac, Co-director and Research Lead of the Stroke and Ageing group, School of Clinical Sciences, Monash University, adds that “depending on which part of the brain is affected means the ability to think, speak, feel or move your body can be impacted”.

Stroke can be a “catastrophic health event for individuals and families”, he says, making awareness crucial to prevention and management.

“Knowing the signs of stroke and acting FAST in calling an ambulance and going to the hospital is essential to avoiding lifelong disability or death from stroke,” says Professor Cadilhac.

To find out how your pharmacy can get involved in National Stroke Week, visit: