- Stroke is one of
the leading causes of death and disability in India
- About 31% of
stroke victims return to work
- Dr Jeyaraj
Duraipandian spoke to Medindia exclusively on stroke along with awareness
levels, stroke signs and incidence in India.
Dr Jeyaraj DuraiPandian
is a Professor at the Department of Neurology and Head of Research, Betty Cowan
Research & Innovation Centre at The Christian Medical College and Hospital,
Ludhiana, Punjab. He is involved in extensive stroke research in India,
improving patient care and raising awareness about the condition.
His recent studies on
unearthed that in India, one third of stroke
patients leave the hospital against the advice of the doctors. Moreover, only 31% of stroke victims return to work. Such findings reveal the current state
of affairs of stroke awareness among patients in India and the need to bring
about change. He spoke to Medindia exclusively about stroke in India and the
findings from his studies on stroke.
‘Act FAST for Stroke - Face, Arms, Speech and Time.’
Q) What prompted you to take up stroke research in India?
in Neurology in 2000 and specialized in epilepsy
working with epilepsy, I found that stroke patients did not have access to
proper care. There was no treatment available for stroke and there was poor
It was a pathetic sight
to see stroke patients suffer and the only people who offered support were
close family members. It was a huge burden to the family as most stroke
survivors were disabled due to the condition.
That is when I decided
to take up further studies on stroke in Australia, based on the needs of our
Q) What are the major risk factors for stroke in India?
risk factors include high blood pressure
diabetes, high cholesterol, alcohol consumption, obesity, lack of physical
activity, air pollution and diet poor in fruits and vegetables.
your study, why do you think North Indians use more illicit drugs than South
results of the study are based on three centres from North India and two centres from
the South. Two of the North Indian
centres are in Punjab, a state in which there is common use of illegal drugs.
Opium is used in households in Punjab commonly as a painkiller.
What are the early warning signs of stroke and how can relatives help the
to stroke should be based on the FAST protocol,
where F stands for face. Any
drooping of a part of the face is an indication of stroke
A is for Arms, the patient should be asked to raise both the arms. If he/she is
unable to raise one of his arms, it is a warning sign. S is for speech, any
slurring of speech is an indication of stroke. Finally, T is for time, the
patient should be rushed to the hospital as soon as possible.
Taking the patient to a stroke ready
hospital will be ideal as the patient should be administered with clot busting
drug within 4 and a half hours of the occurrence of stroke.
Can stroke victims become independent again?
intensity of stroke varies from mild, moderate to high. Generally, one-third
improve , one-third are disabled while one-third die.
What is the prognosis for stroke among Jains as your study shows that they
don't use any drugs?
population of Jains is very small in the study sample for conclusive findings.
Jains generally avoid medication. Q)
Which socio-economic background showed the maximum incidence of stroke?
no association between socio economic background and stroke, every section was
found to be equally affected. There was a higher incidence of
among rural people than urban, this
could be due to changing lifestyles. People in the villages lead a more
sedentary lifestyle when compared with their forefathers due to the use of two
wheelers and increased facilities.
What is the awareness about stroke in India?
poor awareness about stroke in India, most people cannot differentiate between
heart attack symptoms and stroke. Greater facilities need to be provided for
stroke victims and caregivers to make them lead independent lives.
Q) A new study shows there is a 12% reduction in stroke
risk on consumption of one egg per day? Your comments?
The study highlights the health aspect of egg and its benefit in
Q) Egg has always been believed to increase
cholesterol and is generally avoided, how will it help avoid stroke? Is such a
Egg has many anti-oxidants that aid in lowering blood
pressure. This is the feature that is highlighted in the article. Such research
will help in increasing awareness about the benefits of egg as many people tend
to avoid egg.