World Stroke Day is observed on 29 of October to underscore the serious nature of the disease, raise awareness about prevention and treatment and ensure care and support for survivors.
Stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide and a leading cause of disability. A stroke is a “brain attack” and can happen to anyone at any time. It occurs when blood flow to an area of brain is cut off when brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain such as memory and muscle control are lost.
The effects of a stroke depend on the site and severity of brain injury. It must be noted that cardiovascular and stroke risks are related. Coronary heart diseases and stroke share many similar risk factors such as high LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, low HDL (good) cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, physical inactivity, and being overweight or obese.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday urged the countries of the Southeast Asian region to strengthen their health care system to tackle the rising incidence of stroke witnessed in the region along with other low income countries every year.
Stating that most of the lifestyle-related risks can be reduced to prevent brain stroke, WHO has urged people to quit smoking and drinking – two factors alone significantly multiply the likelihood of stroke.