Sharon Hodgson MP backs stroke awareness campaign in Sunderland

Sharon Hodgson MP with Eve Knight.
Sharon Hodgson MP with Eve Knight.
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A campaign to raise awareness of how strokes can be caused by underlying heart conditions has been backed by a Wearside MP.

A campaign to raise awareness of how strokes can be caused by underlying heart conditions has been backed by a Wearside MP.

I urge everyone to get checked out

Sharon Hodgson

Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, is supporting the campaign to raise awareness of atrial fibrillation (AF) – a heart condition that causes an irregular pulse and increases a person’s risk of stroke by up to four or five times.

She is urging people across the city to have themselves checked out before it is too late.

The NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group estimates that 7,162 people on Wearside have AF, however, about 43% of these are not thought to be treated with medicines to prevent blood clots – anticoagulants – that would help reduce their risk of stroke. Across the country, it is estimated that 700,000 people may have AF without knowing.

GPs and other healthcare professionals can identify AF through a simple pulse check.

The risk of having a stroke can be reduced through treatment.

To raise awareness of AF, Mrs Hodgson had her pulse checked in Parliament at a walk-in clinic on behalf of the charity AntiCoagulation Europe, funded by Bayer HealthCare.

She said: “Events like this are vital in raising awareness across the country about hidden dangers like atrial fibrillation. It is an easy thing to check.

“Treatment is on hand to those who are more at risk, so I urge everybody to get checked out, so that we can prevent more strokes and enable people to live longer and healthier lives.”

Eve Knight, co-founder and chief executive of AntiCoagulation Europe, said: “With stroke the largest cause of death in Europe, and a major cause of adult disability, it’s vital that more is done to detect and diagnose AF and then minimise the risk of stroke by providing appropriate medication.

“People with AF should be given information about anticoagulation and have access to the full range of NICE-recommended treatment options.

“I’m delighted to see Mrs Hodgson tackling this important health issue and raising awareness of AF and stroke prevention in Washington and Sunderland West.”