A study by the British Heart Foundation and Stroke Association has found that stroke deaths are thrice as much in the poorest areas of England and Wales as compared to their affluent counterparts.
In the poorest areas, there were 29 stroke deaths per 100,000 men under 65 each year as compared to just 8 per 100,000 in people living in wealthy areas.
"The figures argue for a concerted effort to identify and modify risk factors by lifestyle and drug interventions in those communities with the highest risks," said BHF medical director Professor Peter Weissberg. "We don't underestimate the challenge this poses, but success will save the lives of thousands of people and prevent disability in many more."
Joe Korner of the Stroke Association called the numbers shocking and added, "Decreasing inequalities in our society will also lessen inequalities in health outcomes."