Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to inform members of Parliament and all Canadians that the month of June is Stroke Awareness Month. I speak today not only as a member of Parliament but as a wife of a stroke survivor.
Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in Canada. Each year, approximately 16,000 Canadians die from a stroke. There are between 40,000 and 50,000 strokes in Canada each year. Currently, approximately 300,000 Canadians are living with the effects of stroke. After age 55, the risk of stroke doubles every 10 years.
In adults, stroke is associated with risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure or history of strokes in the family. In children, a stroke is usually the result of another underlying disease or condition.
The warning sings of stroke are caused by the sudden interruption of brain function. Some warning signs include: sudden weakness, numbness or tingling in the face, arm or leg; sudden temporary loss of speech or trouble understanding speech; sudden loss of vision, partially in one eye, or double vision; sudden severe and unusual headache; or sudden loss of balance.
Although there has been significant advancement in stroke research, we need to continue our research to understand the reasons why strokes occur and ways to prevent them. Unless the prevention of stroke is improved, the number of strokes across Canada is expected to increase over the next two decades.