islamabad - In recent times, the effects of air pollution on health have drawn increasing interest with international institutions providing growing mortality and morbidity data. The latest estimation of deaths attributable to air pollution worldwide is 9 million deaths annually.

These deaths are related to cardiac diseases such as myocardial infarction or congestive heart failure, neurological events such as stroke, lung diseases and cancer, said Prof Dr. Arsalan Ahmad, Consultant Neurologist Shifa International Hospital quoting World Federation of Neurology on World Brain Day.

The topic of this year’s World Brain Day (WBD) was CLEAN AIR FOR HEALTHY BRAIN, the objective of which is to raise awareness about the effects of air pollution on neurological diseases.

Shifa International Hospital, in collaboration with Pakistan Society of Neurology (PSN), on Saturday organised an awareness campaign to mark World Brain Day.

Dr. Arsalan discussed the impacts of air pollution on brain health. He said that recent publications have shown evidence for air pollution as a stroke risk. The recent Global Burden of Disease study, for example, investigated data from 1990 to 2013 in 188 countries.

It demonstrated that air pollution contributes to UP TO 30% to the burden of stroke. The adverse effects of air pollution are most important in low and medium-income countries and for vulnerable patients with other vascular risk factors or a prior history of stroke. Stroke is the leading cause of disability, the second cause of death in people older than 60 years, one of the main reasons for hospitalization, and a risk factor for dementia as well.