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People who have suffered a stroke are more likely to develop dementia, as per a recent study by the University of Exeter Medical School. The link between stroke and dementia was found to persist even after considering other dementia risk factors such as blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A history of stroke increases dementia risk by about 70%, and recent strokes more than double the risk.

The WHO estimates indicate that globally there are about 15 million people who suffer from stroke annually. There are also 50 million people suffering from dementia. The number is expected to almost double every 20 years, reaching 131 million by 2050.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India said, “Stroke or a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) results from a sudden blood loss to the brain or bleeding within the brain resulting in the impairment of neurological function. Obesity, smoking, hypertension, alcohol consumption, diabetes and family history are considered some of the common factors leading to a stroke. If t he answer to any of the following questions below is a yes, there’s a high probability that the person is having a stroke. Act FAST: Face — Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop? Arms — Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Speech — Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Does he or she fail to repeat the sentence correctly? and Time — If the answer to any of these questions is yes, time is important. Get to the hospital fast. Brain cells are dying.”

Some warning signs of a stroke include weakness in an arm, hand, or leg; numbness on one side of the body; sudden loss of vision, particularly in one eye; sudden difficulty speaking; inability to comprehend; dizziness or loss of balance; and sudden, lasting, and excruciating headache.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Stroke is one of major public health concerns worldwide, with the burden in India increasing at an alarming rate over the past few decades. There is an urgent need to address this condition and this can only be done through more effective public education among all demographic groups.”

The 25th MTNL Perfect Health Mela to be held between 24th and 28th October 2018 at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi will provide people with an opportunity to know more about how to prevent a stroke, among other things.

Some tips from HCFI to prevent a stroke

Control high blood pressure
Do moderate exercise 5 times a week
Eat a healthy balanced diet high in fruit 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: for men two drinks a day and for women, one a day
Identify and treat atrial fibrillation
Reduce your risk from diabetes by controlling your blood sugar
Get educated about stroke