Three adults suffer from a stroke every minute in India and around 5 million people are disabled globally due to the brain attack each year. Yet, half the residents of metros in India are unaware of strokes and their link to the brain.
A survey carried out across six metros in the country has revealed that awareness of astroke is abysmally low. More shocking is the fact that increasingly younger people are becoming vulnerable to strokes, reasons for which vary from lifestyle to ignorance about the problem itself. "Most people think that stroke is related to the heart," Dr Shirish M Hastak, neurologist and former president of the Indian Stroke Association, said.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel taking blood and oxygen to the brain gets blocked or ruptured. When this happens, brain cells don’t get the required blood.MEGA BLOCK
- 20m suffer strokes each year
- 5m die, 5m left disabled/yr
- 1 in 6 suffers stroke in lifetime
- 1.5m suffer strokes each year
- 3,000–4,000 hit every day
- Strokes kill more than TB, HIV and malaria put together
Brain Disease Affects 1.5mn Indians: Study
Mumbai: Younger people are increasingly suffering strokes, but knowledge about the problem is shockingly low in most Indian cities, a survey shows. Astroke occurs when brain cells do not get the blood they require. Deprived of oxygen, nerve cells stop working and die within minutes, so the part of the body they control can’t function either. "It is extremely difficult for a person to seek immediate medical help if one does not even know about a problem," Dr Dr Shirish M Hastak, a neurologist, said.
The survey covered 1,507 people aged between 25 and 50 years in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Chennai. It mainly captured the respondents’ awareness and understanding of the term stroke, its symptoms, perceived causes, the prevailing knowledge about treatment options, and their experiences with stroke sufferers.
Worldwide, 20 million people suffer from stroke each year, five million die and another five million are disabled. In India, 1.5 million suffer from stroke every year and 3,000 to 4,000 are affected each day. According to the survey, 48% of people did not know what stroke meant.
"Bangalore scored fairly well with 68% aware of what a brain stroke is. Mumbai’s performance was average with 58% aware that stroke is associated with the brain, followed by Kolkata. Delhi and Hyderabad had the lowest levels of awareness, with 36% and 27% respectively," said Dr Hastak.
The survey showed younger people were getting vulnerable to strokes. Doctors said it had to do with their lifestyle and eating habits. "I’ve observed an about 15–20% increase in the 25–40 age group reporting a stroke or unmistakable symptoms of it," said Dr P P Ashok, head of neurology, Hinduja Hospital.KNOW WARNING SIGNS, SEEK IMMEDIATE HELP STROKE
A stroke occurs when blood supply to part of the brain is disrupted, causing brain cells to die as oxygen and glucose cannot be delivered to the brainSYMPTOMS
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body)
- Loss of voluntary movement and/or sensation may be complete or partial.
- Sudden trouble speaking or understanding speech, seeing and walking.
Emergency medical care should be sought
- The affected person should be made to lie flat to promote optimal blood flow to the brain
- If drowsiness, unresponsiveness, or nausea are present, the person should be placed in the rescue position on their side to prevent choking if vomiting occurs
- While aspirin plays a major role in stroke prevention, once symptoms of a stroke begin, doctors say additional aspirin should not be taken till the patient receives medical attention
Times of India
18 October 2013,
by - Pratibha Masand