New figures have revealed a surge in the number of working age men and women suffering from strokes in the UK each year; a reality that adds further weight to the argument for having a financial backup strategy in place.
The Stroke Association analysed national hospital admission data spanning 2000 to 2014 and found that the number of strokes affecting middle-aged men has increased by almost 50% over this 15-year period.
In the year 2000, 4,260 men aged between 40 and 54 were admitted to hospital following a stroke. In 2014, this figure had soared to 6,221.
The research also revealed that the number of women aged between 40 and 54 being admitted to hospital following a stroke in the last 15 years has also significantly increased by 30%.
In fact, the number of strokes in people of working age (20-64) has increased by a quarter over the past 15 years.
Strokes No Longer a ‘Disease of the Old’
Based on the researchers’ findings, strokes should no longer just be considered a disease of the old.
In light of the research, experts said that unhealthy lifestyles were partly to blame for the rise, but that the growing population of the UK also played a part.
The chief executive of the Stroke Association, John Barrick, said: “There is an alarming increase in the numbers of people having a stroke in working age. This comes at a huge cost, not only to the individual, but also to their families and to health and social care services.”
The Stroke Association puts the annual cost of strokes to the UK economy at around £9 billion and loss of income, due to disability or death following a stroke, at over £1.3 billion each year.
Barrick added: “Having a stroke is bad enough, but being written off by your employer through a lack of understanding can be catastrophic. Businesses play a crucial role in helping stroke survivors get back into the workplace and on the road to recovery. That’s why we’re calling on employers to be aware of the physical and emotional impact of stroke.”
Stroke is the third most common claim under Legal & General’s critical illness (CI) plans and the firm paid out over £9.75 million in 2014 for stroke-related CI claims alone. Mark Holweger, Managing Director, Intermediated at Legal & General, said: “We have seen increased awareness of the dangers of strokes and their warning signs following a number of successful campaigns in recent years.
“However, the fact that stroke accounts for our third most common claim for the third year in a row proves there is still much work to be done, which is why we will continue to support initiatives like those run by The Stroke Association and National Stroke Awareness Month to raise awareness, particularly of the warning signs and mini-strokes (Transient ischæmic attack). It’s important for everyone to do their part and ensure that they’re familiar with the symptoms of a stroke so they can take fast, decisive action to limit the damage caused by the condition.”
Sickness and accidents can be devastating enough without also suffering a major impact on your income at such an upsetting time. Planning a financial backup strategy to protect you against those “what ifs” is something we recommend to all our clients.
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