Stroke cases among middleaged adults are rising at an alarming rate, especially since Covid onset. Some of the factors responsible for the surge include diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, apart from poor lifestyle choices.
Doctors believe it’s the need of the hour to identify the signs and symptoms of a stroke, such as slurred speech, a droopy face and arm weakness,to seek timely intervention. A stroke is a 'brain attack' and is the leading cause of disability in India. It can happen to anyone irrespective of age.
India is facing the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and a stroke is one of the most common ones. There is certainly awareness when it comes to other NCDs but stroke symptoms are often neglected. Dr Nitin Dange, stroke unit in-charge at KEM Hospital said the number of stroke cases has drastically increased over the past couple of years.
Number of cases per month increased
Doctors have witnessed that the number of patients attending stroke OPDs in KEM has increased from 180-200 to 220-240 per month. “The percentage of stroke patients in the younger age group has recently gone up. The factorsdriving the stroke are changes in food habits like eating junk food, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, lack of exercise, and underlying comorbid conditions like diabetes mellitus, hypertension and deranged lipid profile, etc,” he said.
Senior health experts from the civic-run hospital said there has been an increase in the number of stroke cases in younger adults during the pandemic. “Covid restrictedus to meet even our supportive ones; we all have been transplanted from a social society to a monk society. These can lead to behavioural changes like increased consumption of alcohol and cigarettes. Covid has been one of the key factors responsible for the rise in these cases as the healthcare sector has seen a lot of Covid and stroke cases occurring together as the former can also lead to thickening of blood and heart problems leading to clot formation and strokes,” he said.
Dr Anil Venkatachalam, neurologist, Zen Multispeciality Hospital (Chembur) said certain factors such as comorbidities among others can lead to higher incidences of stroke in age group of 40- 50