2. Stroke Prevention in Europe

Across Europe, the level of public awareness of stroke risk factors and symptoms is poor as shown in numerous Eastern and Western European studies. Therefore, we need rapid and concerted action to prevent stroke and, especially, improvement in the detection and treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure) and atrial fibrillation (an abnormal heart rhythm with rapid and irregular beating).

Most countries have undertaken educational campaigns that aim to raise awareness of stroke risk factors and encourage people to adopt a healthier lifestyle, yet only some of them have been evaluated systematically. The few that have been assessed showed varied success with regards to risk factor knowledge or, even more importantly, behaviour change.