Why stroke numbers are increasing and how it can be prevented
Stroke is something that concerns us all in our ever more fast paced world. To add to hectic lifestyles we are bombarded daily with colorful advertisements for jet set lifestyles which include energy drinks and suggestions to load up on coffee that can jettison your blood pressure to new highs and cause a stroke. The name of the game in this high technology era is far too often to rush as fast as possible to get ahead and to forget about taking time to relax and meditate daily. This fast paced type of lifestyle can lead to a stroke and cost you your life.
MedPage Today reports, "Stroke Numbers Up Worldwide." A global study has shown that the overall burden of stroke in terms of absolute numbers of people who are affected around the world is growing. Although this has been found to be true particularly in younger age groups and in low-to-middle-income countries, the threat of stroke is growing and real for us all.
According to Valery Feigin, MD, of the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and colleagues, in 2010, there were about 16.9 million people who had a first stroke, 33 million stroke survivors, and 5.9 million people who died from a stroke. This represented dramatic increases of 68%, 84%, and 26% respectively since 1990. The researchers also reported that 102 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) were lost, which was up 12%.
If the present trends continue, there will be approximately 12 million stroke deaths, 70 million stroke survivors, and more than 200 million DALYs lost globally each year by 2030. Hemorrhagic, and not ischemic stroke, accounted for the majority of the worldwide burden of deaths and disability-adjusted life years which were lost due to stroke.
The work of Feigin and colleagues shows that, despite some improvements in stroke prevention and management in high-income countries, the growth and aging of the global population has been leading to an increase of young and old patients with stroke. It has been suggested that urgent preventive measures and acute stroke care should be promoted in low-income and middle-income countries, with the provision of chronic stroke care being more well developed worldwide.
The National Stroke Association highlights that up to 80 percent of all strokes can be prevented. Although anyone can be hit with a stroke, certain risk factors can increase your chances of a stroke. Studies show that about 80 percent of strokes can be prevented by working with a healthcare professional to reduce your personal risk of a stroke. The management of personal risk factors for stroke and learning to recognize and respond to stroke signs and symptoms of stroke, are very important.
The U.S. National Stroke Association's Stroke Prevention Advisory Board, made up of the nation's leading experts on stroke prevention, has established the first Stroke Prevention Guidelines. A primary consideration in stroke prevention is that high blood pressure is a major stroke risk factor if it is left untreated. You should have your blood pressure checked regularly by a doctor or at health fairs, a local pharmacy or supermarket or with an automatic blood pressure machine at home.
Another significant stroke risk factor is atrial fibrillation (Afib). Afib is an abnormal heartbeat which can increase stroke risk by 500%. Afib can lead to blood pooling in the heart which may form a clot and cause a stroke. Afib can only be properly diagnosed by a physician.