islamabad - Stroke is the second most common cause of death in the world, causing around 6.7 million deaths each year, taking a life every five seconds, neurologists said on Saturday. They were addressing a public awareness walk organised by Shifa International Hospital in connection with World Stroke Day on Saturday. A large number of people from different walks of life participated in the walk.

HOD and Consultant Neurologist SIH Dr Maimoona Siddiqui said that stroke happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Without blood, brain cells can be damaged or die. Depending on which part of the brain is affected and how quickly the person is treated, the effects of stroke on survivors can be devastating to a person’s body, mobility and speech, as well as how they think and feel. 

Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability globally. It can happen to anyone at any age, and impacts everyone: survivors, family and friends, workplaces and communities. Stroke also increases the risk of dementia, she said.

Dr Maimoona added that in Pakistan the annual mortality rate per 100,000 people from stroke has increased by 40.9 percent since 1990, an average of 1.8 percent a year. 350,000 Pakistanis suffer from stroke every year. Mortality ranges 11-30 percent, 118,545 lives (Females 61,289 – Males 57,256). 80 percent of all strokes are preventable. She briefly described the clinical presentation and risk factors, importance of educating general public and purpose of organizing such events.

Consultant Neurologist SIH Dr Raja Farhat Shoaib stressed that you should know your personal risk factors: Control high blood pressure, Do moderate exercise five times a week, eat a healthy, balanced diet, reduce your cholesterol, maintain a healthy BMI or waist to hip ratio, stop smoking and avoid second-hand exposure, identify and treat atrial fibrillation, reduce your risk from diabetes, talk to your doctor and get educated about stroke, he stated.