Wed, Aug 23, 2017 | updated 04:05 AM IST

90% of strokes can be prevented

Updated: Jul 16, 2016 08:50 IST      
90% of strokes can be prevented

Washington D.C, Jul 16 (ANI): Just when you thought strokes can strike anyone at any time, a team of researchers report that 90 percent of them are preventable.

High blood pressure remains the single most important modifiable risk factor for stroke and the impact of hypertension and nine other risk factors together account for 90 percent of all strokes, according to an analysis of nearly 27000 people from every continent in the world (INTERSTROKE).

Although the same ten risk factors were important and together accounted for 90 percent of stroke risk in all regions, the relative role of some individual risk factors varied by region, which the authors say should influence the development of strategies for reducing stroke risk.

The study led by Dr Martin O'Donnell and Prof Salim Yusuf of the McMaster University, along with collaborators from 32 countries, builds on preliminary findings from the first phase of the INTERSTROKE study, which identified ten modifiable risk factors for stroke in 6000 participants from 22 countries.

O'Donnell noted, "This study is of an adequate size and scope to explore stroke risk factors in all major regions of the world, within key populations and within stroke subtypes. The wider reach confirms the ten modifiable risk factors associated with 90 percent of stroke cases in all regions, young and older and in men and women. The study confirms that hypertension is the most important modifiable risk factor in all regions, and the key target in reducing the burden of stroke globally."

To estimate the proportion of strokes caused by specific risk factors, the investigators calculated the population attributable risk for each factor. The PAR, which is an estimate of the overall disease burden that could be reduced if an individual risk factor were eliminated, was 47.9 percent for hypertension, 35.8 percent for physical inactivity, 23.2 percent for poor diet, 18.6 percent for obesity, 12.4 percent for smoking, 9.1 percent for cardiac (heart) causes, 3.9 percent for diabetes, 5.8 percent for alcohol intake, 5.8 percent for stress, and 26.8 percent for lipids.

Many of these risk factors are known to also be associated with each other (e.g. obesity and diabetes), and when combined together, the total PAR for all ten risk factors was 90.7 percent, which was similar in all regions, age groups and in men and women.

Interestingly, the importance of some risk factors appeared to vary by region. For example, the PAR for hypertension ranged from 38.8 percent in western Europe, North America and Australia to 59.6 percent in Southeast Asia, the PAR for alcohol intake was lowest in western Europe, North America, Australia and highest in Africa (10.4 percent) and south Asia (10.7 percent), while the PAR for physical inactivity was highest in China.

Atrial fibrillation (irregular heart rhythm) was significantly associated with ischaemic stroke (PAR ranging from 3.1 percent in south Asia to 17.1 percent in western Europe, North America, and Australia), as was a high apolipoprotein [ApoB]/A1 ratio (PAR ranging from 24.8 percent in western Europe, North America, and Australia to 67.6 percent in southeast Asia).

Yusuf added, "Our findings will inform the development of global population-level interventions to reduce stroke, and how such programmes may be tailored to individual regions, as we did observe some regional differences in the importance of some risk factors by region. This includes better health education, more affordable healthy food, avoidance of tobacco and more affordable medication for hypertension and dyslipidaemia."

Writing in a linked Comment, Professor Valery L Feigin and Dr Rita Krishnamurthi from the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences said: "Three key messages can be drawn from this study. First, stroke is a highly preventable disease globally, irrespective of age and sex. Second, the relative importance of modifiable risk factors and their PAR necessitates the development of regional or ethnic-specific primary prevention programmes, including priority settings such as focusing on risk factors contributing most to the risk of stroke in a particular region (as determined by PAR). Third, additional research on stroke risk factors is needed for countries and ethnic groups not included in INTERSTROKE, as well as definitive cost-effectiveness research on primary stroke prevention in key populations (eg, different age, sex, ethnicity, or region)."

They added, "It should also be emphasised that stroke prevention programmes must be integrated with prevention of other major non-communicable diseases that share common risk factors with stroke to be cost-effective. We have heard the calls for actions about primary prevention. Now is the time for governments, health organisations, and individuals to proactively reduce the global burden of stroke. Governments of all countries should develop and implement an emergency action plan for the primary prevention of stroke."

The study appears in The Lancet. (ANI)

Night-time symptoms- The lesser known side of COPD

Updated: Aug 22, 2017 15:47 IST     

New Delhi [India], August 22 (ANI): Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a condition that damages the lung airways causing a range of symptoms like chest tightness, breathlessness, wheezing and persistent cough, is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the country.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 22 (ANI): Not many are aware of the fact that India is on the edge of becoming the 'Diabetes Capital of the World' overtaking China, which earlier had the largest number of diabetics.

Full Story >>

Using quality stents is of utmost importance: Experts

Updated: Aug 22, 2017 10:35 IST     

New Delhi [India], August 22 (ANI): Stents are a powerful tool in the fight against heart disease and specialists have emphasised on the need of using quality stents for best patient outcomes.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], August 22 (ANI): There may be no magical solution treating liver cancer or fatty liver disease, but knowing the right targets will help science develop the most effective treatments.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], August 22 (ANI): According to a recent research, a group of researchers have found and validated a practical tool for identifying diabetes patients who are at the highest risk for being admitted to an emergency department or hospital due to severe hypoglycemia, or very low blood sugar.

Full Story >>

Study reveals potential target for alcohol liver disease

Updated: Aug 22, 2017 08:02 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], August 22 (ANI): In a recent research, the scientists have found a new protective response in the organ that might be targeted to help treat alcoholic liver disease.

Full Story >>

Mussel-inspired glue promises safer fetal surgery

Updated: Aug 21, 2017 09:04 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 21 (ANI): Whether to perform surgery on a fetus is a heart-wrenching decision, but now, a team of researchers has come up with glue that could one day make the procedures safer.

Full Story >>

Turns out, sugars in breastmilk keep bacteria at bay

Updated: Aug 21, 2017 07:59 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 21 (ANI): Mother's milk, which consists of a complex and continually changing blend of proteins, fats and sugars, helps protect babies against bacterial infections.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 20 (ANI): Good news! Now an eye test can predict Alzheimer's disease two decades prior to symptoms emergence, claims a new study.

Full Story >>

Dengue: what you should know

Updated: Aug 20, 2017 07:01 IST     

New Delhi [India], August 20 (ANI): Dengue, a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes, causes about 50 to 100 million infections per year worldwide. According to the statistics by the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, India has recorded over 33, 964 cases of dengue in 2017 so far.

Full Story >>

Quashing the claim against antidepressants

Updated: Aug 19, 2017 09:39 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 19 (ANI): A recent study has rebutted the claim that antidepressants do not work.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 19 (ANI): Turns out, smokers are 20 percent more likely to quit if cigarettes cost a dollar more.

Full Story >>

New HIV-tracking approach paves way for better therapies

Updated: Aug 19, 2017 08:25 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 19 (ANI): A team of researchers has come up with a novel method of tracking HIV infection that could help lead to the development of novel therapies.

Full Story >>

Vitamin C may help genes to kill blood cancer stem cells

Updated: Aug 19, 2017 07:13 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 19 (ANI): Good news! A study has recently revealed that vitamin C may tell faulty stem cells in the bone marrow to mature and die normally, instead of multiplying to cause blood cancers.

Full Story >>

Vitamin D deficiency ups heart failure risk in older adults

Updated: Aug 19, 2017 07:07 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 19 (ANI): You may advise your grandparents to include dairy products, orange juice, soy milk and cereals in their diet, as a study has recently warned that vitamin D deficiency was linked with a 12.2-times increased risk of heart failure in older adults, especially men.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 19 (ANI): A new study suggests that the smallpox vaccine might actually have come from horses, not cows.

Full Story >>

Sedentary urban life responsible for piles in youth

Updated: Aug 18, 2017 19:24 IST     

New Delhi [India], Aug 18 (ANI): Every year, almost 10 million people in India suffer from the pain of piles, a disease that is spreading fast due to stress, insomnia, constipation, and a growing inclination for fast food in the sedentary lifestyle of urbanites. Various studies suggest that every second individual in the world comes across piles at some point between 45 to 65 years of, and a large number of women experience piles (haemorrhoids) during pregnancy. The most alarming concern, however, is that teens and youths in their early twenties are also experiencing piles these days, and there is an urgent need to inculcate good food habits to combat the problem timely.

Full Story >>

All you need to know about Swine Flu

Updated: Aug 18, 2017 19:09 IST     

New Delhi [India], Aug 18 (ANI): Being a transferable disease, Swine Flu induces a panic in all of us whenever it infects even a single person. No one is invincible, but we can always practice better caution and cure.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], August 18 (ANI): Onco-surgeons at a Delhi-based hospital recently performed a highly risky and laborious surgery on a 39-year-old Russian patient, Emil Abdullaev.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], August 18 (ANI): The Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW), Lav Aggarwal, gave a presentation on the National Policy for Treatment of Rare Diseases to Justice Manmohan in the Delhi High Court and highlighted the important aspects.

Full Story >>