Chinese expert calls for public attention to strokes
BEIJING, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese health expert called for more public attention to strokes, an illness that can result in severe life consequences.
Peng Bin, head of the neurology department at Peking Union Medical College Hospital, said China has the largest number of cerebrovascular disease patients in the world and the incidence rate of stroke is rising.
A stroke is caused by the interruption of the blood supply to the brain, usually because a blood vessel bursts or is blocked by a clot. This cuts off the supply of oxygen and nutrients, causing damage to the brain tissue, according to the World Health Organization.
The most common symptom of a stroke is sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg, most often on one side of the body.
Peng said the illness can be so serious that about 75 percent of the patients are rendered unable to work or even take care of themselves.
Stroke can cause paralysis, language disorders, dysphagia, cognitive impairment and depression, Peng said, adding that every one out of six people in the world may have a chance of stroke in their lifetime.
But stroke is preventable as it is very much a lifestyle-related illness. Early intervention can also effectively reduce the likelihood of occurrence.
Peng advised members of the public to have a balanced diet, do physical exercise, quit smoking, limit alcohol intake and try to maintain a good mood.
People should also have their blood pressure, blood sugar and blood lipid levels checked regularly after reaching middle age, Peng added.
Tuesday marks World Stroke Day.