80% of brain strokes preventable : Apollo doctors

Published - July 21, 2017 11:58 pm IST

NELLORE: In the face of increasing and manifold risk factors, brain stroke is being considered the epidemic of the 21st century with at least one person suffering from a stoke every two seconds in today’s world. Looking at the impending health crisis, this year’s ‘World Brain Day’ observed on July 22 is putting greater focus on the topic “Stroke is a brain attack – prevent it and treat it”.

“The lifetime risk of stroke is 1 in 5 for women, and 1 in 6 for men. Every six seconds, someone's quality of life will forever be changed as they will permanently be physically disabled due to stroke,” said Dr. Bindu Menon, Senior Consultant Neurologist, Apollo Speciality Hospitals, Nellore, As per estimates, 16 to 17 million people worldwide suffer from strokes each year and six million of whom do not survive.Dr. Menon said that 80% of these strokes were preventable with medical breakthroughs making stroke increasingly treatable. The first major breakthrough came when intravenous thrombolysis (tPa) was first introduced. This injection needs to be given within 4-and-a-half hours of stroke and hence patients should be brought to hospital in time.Under this procedure, stroke-causing blood clots in vessels of the brain are dissolved using medication. Widespread use of this method has saved many lives. This alone can reduce mortality by about 20% in a single year. Stroke, its treatment and prevention must be given the highest priority in healthcare policy in every country.

Stating that there were 10 main risk factors responsible for 90% strokes, Dr. Menon said that people should be cautious about high blood pressure, physical inactivity, an unfavourable situation of blood lipids, poor diet, a high waist-to-hip ratio, psychosocial factors, smoking, a high alcohol intake, cardiac disease and diabetes.

Hypertension is behind almost 50% of all strokes, Dr. Menon said.

Alongside prevention, awareness of how to detect and respond correctly in emergency to brain stroke is mandatory, the doctor said.

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