Up to 80 per cent of strokes are preventable, according to the National Stroke Foundation – statistics which have helped inspire the creation of a new prevention tool.
Developed by an AUT researcher, the Stroke Riskometer app works by assessing a person’s chances of suffering a stroke by looking at multiple health and lifestyle factors.
The Riskometer then offers a percentage probability of a person’s chance of suffering a stroke in the next five and ten years, compared with someone of the same age and sex who doesn’t have contributing risk factors, and provides a relative risk.
Professor Valery Feigin from AUT’s National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences who developed the application, believes the tool is an easy way to prompt people to make positive changes to their lifestyle.
“As people make good choices like exercising more, drinking less alcohol and reducing stress, they can check what impact it has on their risk of suffering a stroke,” says Professor Feigin. “It positively re-enforces the messages from their health professionals.
“Stroke is much easier to prevent than treat. We do not need to wait until stroke strikes, we need to act now and take control of our health. By making these positive changes people are likely to reduce the chance of suffering other diseases like heart attack, dementia and cancers.”
Risk factors are entered into the app, which calculates the probability of suffering a stroke by using an expertly calculated algorithm that considers risk factors used by experts around the world.
As well as risk factors, the algorithm looks into diet, alcohol intake, family history, ethnicity and physical activity (or lack thereof) of the individual.
The free version of the Stroke Riskometer has been endorsed by the World Stroke Organisation and is available now through the App store and Google Play: