The World Stoke Day is observed on 29 October every year. Strokes are a serious global health concern. Stroke is the leading cause of disability worldwide, impacting the lives of over 12 million people each year. But despite this widespread risk, there is a beacon of hope. Up to 90% of strokes are preventable. By addressing a few critical risk factors, we can collectively become *#GreaterThanStroke*.
According to the Global Burden of Disease (GBD), India shoulders the majority of the burden of stroke, accounting for 68.6% of stroke incidence, 70.9% of stroke-related deaths, and 77.7% of Disability- adjusted life years (DALYs) lost. Stroke is the second most common cause of death in India, with a staggering 1,85,000 stroke cases reported every year. As per neurology experts at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), this equates to nearly one stroke every 40 seconds and one stroke-related death every 4 minutes.
Speaking on the issue, Dr. Aditya Mantry, neurosurgeon at Apollo Multi-speciality Hospital Kolkata remarked, “In the realm of healthcare, there are few challenges as urgent and impactful as stroke prevention. While we continue to advance in stroke treatment, our primary focus should be on prevention. Simple yet profound lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy diet, regularly exercising, and managing risk factors like high blood pressure, can drastically reduce the incidence of stroke. As healthcare professionals, it is our duty to empower individuals with knowledge and support to make these changes. Together, we can build a future where strokes are rare and lives are saved.”
In 2023, World Stroke Day takes on a critical mission — to mobilise the global stroke community for the cause of stroke prevention. We call upon individuals, healthcare professionals and organisations worldwide to unite in raising awareness and initiating action. Prevention is our most powerful weapon. By focusing on a few but significant risk factors responsible for the majority of strokes, we can make an enormous impact. Key factors include managing high blood pressure, addressing atrial fibrillation, eliminating smoking, and promoting a balanced diet and regular exercise.