Experts said stroke was the second leading cause of death worldwide. Globally, a stroke takes the lives of more than 6.5 million people each year, and permanently disables another 5 million. Its incidence rate in India is significantly higher than in other developing countries, with approximately 1.8 million of 1.2 billion suffering from it every year. World Stroke Day is observed on October 29 every year. This year’s theme is “What is your reason for preventing stroke?”
According to Dr Nilesh Palasdeokar, consultant neurologist, Ruby Hall Clinic, Wanowrie, “…a stroke can be called a brain attack. It can result in permanent disabilities and damage to the brain. In extreme cases, even death. Survival depends upon immediate intervention of experts within the ‘golden hour’, which includes the first hour after the onset of a stroke. Age makes us more susceptible to having a stroke, as does having a mother, father, or a relative having one.”
Around the world, more people die of stroke every year, than of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, combined. Many survivors are often left with physical and mental disabilities, including memory loss, difficulty with movement, and difficulty expressing emotions.
Dr Kapil Zirpe, director, Neuro-Trauma Unit, Ruby Hall Clinic, said, “Knowledge is power. The best way to help prevent a stroke is to eat a healthy diet, aim for a healthy weight, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking and drinking too much alcohol. Off late, we have noticed extreme rise in smoking, systolic hypertension, high fasting blood glucose level, and lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in youths age…”
Dr Bhushan Joshi, neurologist at Columbia Asia Hospital, said, “The only way a stroke can be treated is if the patient and his/her family members act FAST and notice symptoms like F: face drooping (look for uneven smile), A: weakness in arms, S: slurred speech and T – on time.”