THOUSANDS OF people in Hampshire are at risk of a stroke and do not realise it, according to the findings of a poll by the Stroke Association.

People are failing to recognise the signs of a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA, also known as mini-stroke) according to the poll which surveyed more than 500 people.

The survey revealed that over two thirds of people did not realise of the symptoms of a mini-stroke with a quarter believing they were the same symptoms of a heart attack and that nearly nine out of ten would be worried if they experienced the symptoms of a mini-stroke – yet almost three in four would not take action and go to hospital.

It is estimated that across Hampshire there are more than 3000 strokes a year, with 460 of them being in Southampton, and across the UK it is estimated that 46,000 people have a mini-stroke every year.

Symptoms can include facial weakness, speech problems and pins and needles down one side of the body.

Earlier research funded by the Stroke Association carried out at Oxford University revealed that one in ten patients who has a TIA will go on to have a major stroke within a week without treatment.

The study predicted that if all patients experiencing a mini-stroke in the UK received emergency treatment, almost 10,000 strokes could be avoided each year.

Jon Barrick Chief Executive of the Stroke Association says; “The results of this poll are very concerning.

"More than 150,000 people have a stroke every year in the UK but up to 10,000 of these could be prevented if more people were aware of the symptoms of a mini-stroke and sought out emergency treatment.”