- Stroke during holiday season can be fatal as they occur with little or no warning
- Healthy diet, regular exercise, avoiding drinking and smoking, timely medications and adequate rest are important to reduce the risk of stroke.
The risk of stroke is higher during the holiday season.
Patrick D. Lyden, MD, chair of the Cedars-Sinai Department of Neurology, said he sees a significant increase in stroke incidents during December and January, particularly on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
‘By recognizing symptoms quickly and administering treatment within six hours of stroke, life-threatening complications can be averted.’
"Studies show that 80 percent of strokes can be prevented," said Lyden. "But if it occurs, the key is calling 911 fast. Every minute a stroke is untreated, the average patient loses about 1.9 million brain cells."
A stroke occurs when blood supply to a part of the brain is blocked leading to the blockage of oxygen to the brain and ultimately to the death of the brain cells.
Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the U.S as well as the leading cause of disability, according to the American Stroke Association.
The incidence of stroke is found to be much higher in India than in Western societies due to lack of awareness about risk factors that could lead to a stroke.
In India, the estimated prevalence of stroke is 334-424/100,000 in urban areas and 84-262/100,000 in rural. The highest case fatality is in Kolkatta at 42%
The surge in the incidence of stroke during the holiday can be attributed to factors like-
- holiday stress
- sleep deprivation
- overindulging in food and drinks
- seasonal colds and influenza
- changes in barometric pressure and lower temperatures
"Holiday strokes can be an unexpected and even fatal problem because they often arrive with little warning," said Lyden, director of the Cedars-Sinai Stroke Center. "The good news, however, is that with advanced tools and technology available to us, we may prevent life-threatening complications and even reverse the effects of a stroke if we administer treatment within six hours."
The number of stroke cases rises from 80 rises to about 100 month during the winter season.
Experts recommend memorizing an easy-to-remember acronym, to recognize the symptoms of stroke.- FAST
- Face-drooping of the face
- Arm-weakness of arms
- Speech-slurred speech
- Time-key is to call the emergency as soon as possible
To reduce the risk of stroke it is important to reduce stress, eat and drink in moderation, be vigilant about taking prescribed medications, exercise, get rest and stop smoking.
- World Stroke Day 2016: Face the Facts - Stroke is Treatable - (http://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/world-stroke-day-2016-face-the-facts-stroke-is-treatable-164713-1.htm)