World Stroke Day 2020: India needs digital Detoxification to prevent future burden of stroke

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October 28, 2020 3:55 PM

This year’s theme being #Join the MoveMent, people need to be aware that an active lifestyle has numerous health benefits, where prevention of stroke being one of them.

Stroke is a reversible disease provided one comes to the hospital on time and the appropriate treatment is provided. In almost 70% of the cases, all the symptoms can be reduced/ reversed.

Pertaining to the fact that almost 70% of the stroke cases are either treatable or preventable, Artemis-Agrim Institute of Neurosciences, emphasized on the importance of raising awareness among the masses, through a Press Conference in Gurugram today.

While 25% of the population will, at some point in their lives suffer from a stroke attack, physical activity is one of the best ways to prevent a stroke. This year’s theme being #Join the MoveMent, people need to be aware that an active lifestyle has numerous health benefits, where prevention of stroke being one of them.

India is currently facing a double burden of both communicable and non-communicable diseases. Stroke is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in India attributing to around 30% of the overall morbidity. It is estimated that, in every 40 seconds someone suffers from stroke and a person dies of stroke in every four minutes globally.

“With the lifestyle changes and adoption of unhealthy habits like lack of physical exercise, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and new cases of stroke are likely to be seen in the younger generation of the country. In this fast pace of life advent of technology has made our life easier, but also has reduced the amount of physical activity. Due to increased stress as well as rising incidences of diabetes and hypertension, there is a sudden shift in the age bracket of developing lifestyle ailments. Regular exercise not only helps in maintaining the overall health but also keeps at bay a list full of diseases. There are lot of ways to stay active, even if you find difficult to move around. You need to adapt or new activities. If you are currently receiving any medication then do consult your doctor. They will advise for new exercises and activities to try.” Said Dr Vipul Gupta, Director, Neurointervention, Artemis-Agrim institute of Neuro sciences, Gurugram.

According to the recent study conducted by University of North California, Indians developed ischemic stroke at a younger age in comparison to participants from other developed countries. Apart from the common factors (poor eating habits, alcohol and smoking), high prevalence of physical inactivity among Indian group was the major contributing factor.

As per the study, the average age for Indians suffering a stroke attack was 52 years in comparison to 71 years among Americans. The major reason attributable was physical inactivity with 94% of the patients from India suffering a small vessel occlusion in comparison to 60% population in the US. The study also estimated that in comparison to US patients (who had already suffered from mini-stroke) only 2% of the Indian patient suffering from stroke had regular exercise (5 times a week) as per recommendation.

Apart from the existing burden of stroke cases in India, the ongoing pandemic has also triggered the concerns globally, giving rise to a new addiction – A pandemic of addiction to screen.

Sadly, inactivity is associated with increase in screen time. According to a recent US based study, the digital screen time has been found to be inversely proportional with the life expectancy. As per the study, for every hour of digital screen time, the life expectancy reduces by upto 22 minutes. The amount of screen time also had adverse outcomes including heart attacks, stroke, and cancer.

“While increased screen time is known to result in adverse health outcomes, stroke is one such complication that has recently been linked to it. Beyond 2 hours, every hour spend in front of the digital screen raises the risk of stroke by 20%. Digital Detoxification is the need of the hour in order to cut down the risk of stroke, especially among the younger population.” Said Dr. Rajsrinivas Parthasarathy – Stroke Neurology & Neurointerventional Surgery Artemis-Agrim Insitute of Nuero Sciences Gurugram

Stroke is a reversible disease provided one comes to the hospital on time and the appropriate treatment is provided. In almost 70% of the cases, all the symptoms can be reduced/ reversed.

Delay of every minute in seeking the right treatment leads to loss of about 20 lakh brain cells per minute and hence it is extremely a time dependent therapy. The golden window period to arrive to a stroke unit should be within six hours of stroke attack, delaying which would lead to irreversible damage causing permanent disability in around 80% of the cases.

“Stroke is Treatable, and this is the message we are helping to promote on World Stroke Day. Early recognition makes a big difference and can lead to unbelievable outcomes during treatment. We encourage the public to recognize and learn the signs of stroke – FAST (Face drooping; Arm weakness; Speech slurred; Time to call an ambulance) and know to take immediate action. We encourage everyone, young as well as old to get more active physically and reduce the screen time” Added Dr Gupta

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