World Stroke Day

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World Stroke Day falls on the 29th of October annually. Stroke happens when part of the blood supply to your brain is cut off. Without blood, your brain cells become damaged or sometimes even die. The stroke’s effect on your speech, body and mobility depends on where it happens.

Every year, approximately 17 million people worldwide suffer from a stroke. 6 million of those people will die from the stroke; 60% of them being women. Stroke is the 2nd leading cause of death in the world. People who survive a stroke will most likely go on to have a disability for the rest of their life.

This year’s World Stroke Day has chosen the theme ‘I Am Woman’. This is because a woman is

  • more likely to have a stroke
  • has higher chances of dying from a stroke compared to a man
  • less likely to receive acute treatment and rehabilitation for a stroke although they have the same survival chances as a man
  • more likely to experience a severe deterioration in cognitive function and has a higher risk of post-stroke depression
  • more likely than men to have hypertension, diabetes, atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) depression and obesity which are all risk factors for stroke
  • more likely to be a carer for someone else

There are also specific risk factors that only apply to women, such as pregnancy related diabetes, pre-eclampsia, the use of oral contraceptive pills and hormonal replacement therapy.

The good news is that half of those strokes could be prevented by making simple adjustments to your lifestyle choices such as eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, having good stress management and reducing alcohol consumption.

Strokes can happen to anyone. Know the risk factors and the ‘F.A.S.T.’ signs today.


References

World Stroke Organization. World Stroke Day 2015. Worldstrokecampaign.org. 2015.http://www.worldstrokecampaign.org/get-involved/world-stroke-day-2015.html (accessed 28 Oct 2015).

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