Cyprus Mail

Of a thousand strokes, a fifth will die

By Evie Andreou

AROUND a thousand strokes are recorded each year in Cyprus, 20 per cent of them fatal, according to the head of the Cyprus Neurology association Dr. Georgios Kaponides.

To mark World Stroke Day, the neurology association released the latest statistics on strokes in an effort to raise awareness on the causes of the condition.

“Based on census, we can estimate that each year a thousand of our fellow citizens suffer a stroke, mild or very serious,” Kaponides said at an event in Limassol.

This number may be considered high, Kaponides said, and added that smoking, lack of exercise and irregular personal health checks, such as control of one’s blood pressure, sugar blood levels, cholesterol and preventive medical check ups are the main causes for strokes in Cyprus.

According to available data, strokes are the second greatest cause of death after heart failures in the western world and each year 15 million people suffer a stroke while one in six people will suffer a stroke during their lifetime.  Every six seconds a person dies from a stroke while every two seconds a new stroke occurs.

“We must also periodically check our heart and report to our doctor any palpitations of heart arrhythmias, watch our nutrition and exercise, limit alcohol consumption and of course stop smoking,” Kaponides said.

He said that a stroke can bring disability, change the patient’s and their family’s lifestyle but also translate to a great financial rehabilitation cost to the family and to the health system.

Sudden numbness, difficulty in speech, total or partial loss of sight, imbalance, and vertigo, even strong headache, are warning signs of a stroke, Kaponides said.

He said that a stroke is usually not as painful as a heart attack and even if symptoms retreat within a few minutes, medical evaluation is imperative since a stroke is considered as an emergency medical condition that can lead to death or disability. Some episodes can be warning signs for a much serious stroke with permanent consequences, he added.

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