HealthExpress News Thursday May 1, 2014

HealthExpress Guide to May Health Events

This month we've had to be even more choosy than usual in compiling our regular health campaigns guide. During May, there seems to be a health event on almost every day, and the ones we have picked out are just a small selection of the many campaigns run by charities and organisations to highlight their causes.

Read on to find out more about the health events we're covering this month. Please let us know in the comments if you're planning to support any of these or other upcoming events.

Action on Stroke Month: 1/5/14 – 31/5/14

Hashtags: #StrokeMonth

Backed by the Stroke Association, Action on Stroke Month is in its third year, with the 2014 theme being mini-stroke or TIA (Transient Ischaemic Attack). A TIA has the same symptoms as a stroke, with the only difference being that the symptoms last no longer than 24 hours. This is because the blockage in the artery is temporary in a mini-stroke, and will dissolve or move on it's own. Despite this, a TIA is still very serious and can be a warning that you will go on to have another stroke later on.

Risk factors for stroke include age, diet, high alcohol consumption, smoking and high blood pressure. Visit the campaign page for more information on stroke and how you can help support the campaign.

National Thrombosis Week: 4/5/14 – 8/5/14

Hashtag: #Thrombosis

Lifeblood: The Thrombosis Charity are behind the campaign to raise awareness about this condition. It is a major cause of death in the UK, with up to 1 in 1,000 people affected each year. A venous thromboembolism (VTE) usually occurs in the leg (deep vein thrombosis). Symptoms of a DVT can including redness, swelling or cramping but many people experience no symptoms at all. Sometimes the clot can dislodge and move to the lungs (pulmonary embolism) leading to breathlessness, chest pain or even sudden collapse.

During National Thrombosis week, campaigners will be holding an event at St Thomas' Hospital in London. You can find out more about this on their website.

World Asthma Day: 6/5/14

Hashtag: #WorldAsthmaDay

This is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), which aims to improve awareness and the care of people with asthma around the world. Many people do not realise that the condition can be very serious, with thousands of people hospitalised each year due to asthma. Despite this, those with the condition may not feel they are at risk until they have a serious asthma attack.

This year the theme is 'You can control your asthma'. Campaigners are hoping to encourage people with asthma to assess their risk of an attack and ensure they are managing their asthma as well as possible. Take a look at the GINA campaign page for more info.

World Hypertension Day: 16/5/14

Hashtag: #WorldHypertensionDay

This day was initiated by the World Hypertension League in 2005 to raise awareness of high blood pressure and the dangers of the condition. The league is made up of around 85 organisations involved with the prevention and control of hypertension. In the UK, Blood Pressure UK is one of the leading charities concerned with this issue.

High blood pressure has various causes, such as eating too much salt, physical inactivity and smoking. This day is an opportunity for these organisations to highlight the risk factors for hypertension and also encourage people to get their blood pressure checked.

World No Tobacco Day: 30/5/14

Hashtag: #NoTobaccoDay

This is a campaign introduced in 1987 by the World Health Organisation (WHO), in order to draw attention to the preventable deaths and diseases tobacco causes. The theme of this year's campaign is 'Raise Taxes on Tobacco'. The WHO states that this measure 'is the single most effective way to decrease consumption and encourage tobacco users to quit.' Take a look at the WHO website for more information on this event.

Written by Nicola Beckett.
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