Every May, the Stroke Association runs a campaign, Make May Purple for stroke, to raise awareness of stroke and to show support for people who have been affected by it. It is therefore fitting that not only does our May issue have a purple front cover, but it also includes a top tips article on stroke prevention.

It is estimated that modifiable risk factors could account for as many as 90% of stroke cases. Careful control of these risk factors is therefore an important part of stroke prevention as it has the potential to reduce an individual’s risk of stroke, as well as the overall burden of disease. Professor Jonathan Mant provides top tips on assessing stroke risk, diet and lifestyle changes that can help to reduce stroke risk, and pharmacological treatments for stroke prevention.

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Top tips: stroke prevention

Professor Jonathan Mant

Smoking is associated with a 2–3-fold increase in risk of death from stroke, and stopping smoking plays a big part in reducing a patient’s risk of stroke. Also in this issue is an article about implementation of the recently published NICE Guideline 92 on Smoking interventions and services.

Guideline development group member Louise Ross highlights the importance of taking opportunities to offer very brief advice about stopping smoking and refer patients to a stop smoking service. Recommendations from NICE about the role of e-cigarettes in helping patients to quit smoking are also discussed. Use the multiple-choice questions (MCQs) to test your knowledge after reading the article.

Our remaining feature articles in this month’s issue also focus on recently published guidelines:

Ali Stunt and Dr Ellie Cannon provide an overview of NICE Guideline 92 on Pancreatic cancer in adults: diagnosis and management. The authors discuss common symptoms to look out for, imaging techniques that can aid diagnosis, and surveillance for pancreatic cancer in people who are at increased risk.

Dr David Watson and Dr Sandeep Sharma discuss the latest recommendations from SIGN about the pharmacological treatment of migraine, including acute and preventative treatment strategies, using triptans, and treating medication overuse headache. Test your knowledge with the MCQs after reading the article.

Finally, in this month’s View from the ground, Dr Toni Hazell writes about her experience as a whistleblower, after she raised concerns about the safety of patients being treated at a nearby private clinic.

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The nuclear option

Dr Toni Hazell