About 90% of strokes can be prevented with lifestyle changes

11:57 am Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine

Provided timely action is taken, a stroke can leave a person with permanent disabilities

New Delhi, 18 May 2018: Statistics indicate that 15% of all strokes are caused by hemorrhagic stroke when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, leading to permanent damage. While all people with acute stroke benefit from treatment on a stroke unit, there is currently no specific treatment for hemorrhagic stroke and unfortunately many people affected will die within a few days.

A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when blood from an artery begins bleeding into the brain. Pressure from the leaked blood damages brains cells, and, as a result, the damaged area is unable to function properly.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “There are two types of weakened blood vessels that can cause hemorrhagic stroke: aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). An aneurysm is a ballooning of a weakened region of a blood vessel. If left untreated, the aneurysm continues to weaken until it ruptures and bleeds into the brain. AVM, on the other hand, is a cluster of abnormally formed blood vessels. Any one of these vessels can rupture, also causing bleeding into the brain. It is important to treat strokes as quickly as possible. With a hemorrhagic stroke, the first steps are to find the cause of bleeding in the brain and then control it. Surgery may be needed. Post-stroke rehabilitation can help people overcome disabilities caused by stroke damage.”

Some symptoms of a stroke include sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body); confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding speech; trouble seeing in one or both eyes; trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; and severe headache with no known cause.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor of IJCP, said, “Two main causes for hemorrhagic strokes include uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension) and overtreatment with anticoagulants (blood thinners). Apart from this, it is also important to manage certain lifestyle-based risk factors such as obesity, inactivity, consumption of alcohol, and use of drugs. Depending upon the duration for which the brain lacks blood flow and which part was affected, a stroke can even cause permanent disabilities.”

Some tips from HCFI.

Stroke is preventable. About 90% of strokes are associated with 10 risks factors that are modifiable.

Control high blood pressure
Do moderate exercise 5 times a week
Eat a healthy balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in sodium
Reduce your cholesterol
Maintain a healthy BMI or waist-to-hip ratio
Stop smoking and avoid second hand exposure
Reduce alcohol intake
Identify and treat atrial fibrillation
Reduce your risk from diabetes talk to your doctor
Get educated about stroke

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