MORTALITY rates for south-west stroke victims have more than halved despite an upswing in the number of people living with the affliction.
South West Healthcare (SWH) has recorded a drop in the stroke patient mortality rate from 20 per cent a decade ago to between six and seven per cent today.
The figures come after the National Stroke Foundation revealed south-west Victoria had one of the highest number of stroke patients per capita nationwide.
More than 2.3 per cent of south-west residents are stroke survivors, higher than the 1.9 per cent national average, the foundation report found.
SWH stroke clinical nurse Patrick Groot said while statistics covering stroke cases and people living with stroke were worrying, there was cause for some optimism.
He said the national mortality rate for stroke hovered around the 13 per cent mark, South West Healthcare’s rate was far lower at between six and seven per cent.
“There’s been slow but steady progress over that time but we’re committed to further education about the causes of stroke and how to handle stroke cases,” Mr Groot said.
“The average age of the region’s population is higher than the national average, which may be a contributing factor to why we have a higher number of stroke survivors.
“Sedentary lifestyles also play a part.
“Thirty minutes of exercise a day is what we should be doing, but you have to acknowledge it isn’t always easy to fit it in around the average working day.”
Mr Groot attended this year’s European Stroke Conference in France, also visiting a number of British stroke centres as part of the trip. His business tour was funded by the AEW Matthews Travelling Scholarship and focused on chronic stroke management.