brain imagesThe number of people going to Accident and Emergency following a stroke has increased by over 30% since 2009, according to new estimates.

In 2015/16 104,426 people went to A&E in England after having a stroke – up from 79,373 in 2008/09. In 2014/15, the number of people making it to A&E peaked at 126,242 people.

Latest figures show that stroke now costs the UK’S healthcare system an estimated £1.93 billion. Previous research has estimated that stroke costs the UK around £9 billion a year as a society.

The British Heart Foundation believes the increasing figures are likely the result of greater awareness of stroke symptoms, meaning that more people who’ve had a stroke make it to A&E. 

However, despite this, the number of people dying in the UK after suffering a stroke has remained stubbornly high - with numbers remaining largely unchanged in the last five years.

As a result, the British Heart Foundation has called for more research to find better ways to prevent and treat the disease. Only one drug, alteplase, is currently approved to treat stroke in the UK and for some types of stroke there is no proven treatment.

Future treatments

The British Heart Foundation are currently funding 31 research projects worth £16.5 million pounds. The projects are looking into the causes of stroke and looking to develop new treatments for those affected.

BHF-funded researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh and Nottingham are conducting a clinical trial of drugs they believe could offer a new treatment for lacunar stroke.

Lacunar stroke accounts for around one in five strokes and has no proven treatment. It is caused by damage to one of the small vessels deep within the brain that affects the flow of blood and can lead to long-term disability.