Ottawa –October 29, 2015 — Stroke groups and experts from around the world are calling attention to the link between stroke and dementia and the need to focus on prevention in a global proclamation on World Stroke Day.
The World Stroke Day Proclamation, led by Canadian neurologist and Heart and Stroke Foundation funded researcher Dr. Vladimir Hachinski, highlights the close link between stroke and dementia. Dementia may be preventable by stroke prevention strategies including lifestyle changes, and identification and treatment of risk factors.
“We need to redouble our efforts around prevention. We know that 80 per cent of premature death from heart disease and stroke is preventable,” says David Sculthorpe, CEO, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, “And by preventing stroke, we prevent other conditions such as dementia. Faced with an aging population, it is more important than ever that we take action now.”
According to international data, 14 per cent of all people who arrive at a hospital with a stroke already have some dementia and another 12 per cent will have new onset dementia after their first stroke.
Nine out of 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for stroke. Canadians can decrease their stroke risk by knowing and controlling their blood pressure; being physically active; eating a healthy diet; maintaining a healthy weight; being smoke-free; limiting alcohol; and managing stress. Canadians need healthy environments to support these healthy behaviours.
The proclamation further emphasizes stroke and dementia as leading causes of disability that can affect any age, sex, ethnic origin or country. It also reveals that the incidence of stroke continues to increase in low and middle income countries which can least afford to deal with its devastating consequences. The proclamation has been endorsed by many leading global health bodies including the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
The World Stroke Day Campaign is also raising awareness around woman and stroke, as globally women have higher rates of stroke, have more risk factors, and are more likely than men to die as a result.
A stroke is a sudden loss of brain function. Most strokes are caused by the interruption of blood flow to parts of the brain resulting from a clot, the rest are the result of a rupture in a blood vessel, causing bleeding in the brain. Heart disease and stroke are two of the three leading causes of death in Canada. There are an estimated 62,000 strokes in Canada each year – that is one stroke every nine minutes, and at least 405,000 Canadians are living with the effects of stroke.
Proclamation available at: http://m.stroke.ahajournals.org/content/46/11/3039.full.pdf
Find out more about World Stroke Day and the World Stroke Campaign at www.worldstrokecampaign.org #WSD15