World Stroke Day: Women face higher stroke rates than men, say experts

Around 350,000 Pakistanis suffer strokes every year

News Desk October 30, 2014

One in five women is at risk of a stroke, as opposed to one in six men, according to Consultant Neurologist and Head of Neurology Division at Shifa hospital Dr Maimoona Siddiqui.

The doctor was addressing a mass awareness seminar organised by Shifa International Hospital (SIH) to mark World Stroke Day.

Free blood Sugar, Cholesterol, blood Pressure and BMI tests were also conducted at the event.

Addressing participants, Maimoona said there are 17 million people in the world who suffer a stroke each year whereas the highest rates for stroke are in older women.

SIH Consultant Neurologist Dr Waseem Tariq explained that stroke is a condition in which the brain or spinal cord is damaged by an abnormality of the blood supply. “Sixty per cent stroke in Pakistan is in patients above 60 years of age and it claims the lives of nearly six million people each year,” he said.

Dr Farhat Shoaib, another SIH Consultant Neurologist, briefly described the risk factors, importance of educating the general public and purpose of organising such events. He said stroke is a sudden brain damage and lack of blood flow to the brain caused by a clot or rupture of a blood vessel. “Every six seconds, someone’s quality of life suffers due to a stroke. They become physically disabled,” he said, adding that stroke is the second leading cause of death for people above 60. 350,000 Pakistanis suffer from stroke every year, he stated furhter.

While informing the audience about causes, sign, symptoms and management of stroke, SIH Consultant Neurologist Dr Mohammad Amjad said hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking; orally chewing tobacco and heart diseases are the leading causes of stroke. “Patients with hypertension have eight times greater chance of having a stroke,” he informed. Amjad said further that speech difficulties, ataxia (difficulty in walking), facial weakness, vertigo (room spinning around you), double vision and numbness and extremity weakness are a few symptoms of this deadly neurological disorder.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2014.



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