Stroke deaths will increase up to 50% globally by 2050 if considerable steps are not taken to reduce the prevalence of stroke and its associated risk factors.
According to the World Health Organization, stroke is the second most common cause of death globally, accounting for 6.6 million fatalities in 2020. The research projects that figure to reach 9.7 million in 2050.
A stroke, also known as a brain attack, happens when a brain blood artery breaks or something stops blood flow to a particular area of the brain. Either way, specific brain regions suffer harm or even die. A stroke can result in permanent impairment, death, or irreversible brain damage.
According to Dr. Sheila Martins, president of the World Stroke Organization, the disparities in stroke care available worldwide are disastrous. She says a significant change is required now, not in ten years.
In light of variables including population growth and aging, a qualitative analysis of interviews with 12 stroke specialists from six high-income and six low- and middle-income countries was done for the recently released World Stroke Organization-Lancet Neurology Commission study.
They discovered significant obstacles to excellent monitoring, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation.
They involve a lack of knowledge about stroke and the risk factors that contribute to it, such as smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and poor nutrition. According to the analysis, 91% of these anticipated stroke deaths will occur in low-and middle-income nations.
However, according to Mayowa Owolabi, co-chair of the commission and professor at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, those who live in poverty in wealthy nations like the United States are equally more vulnerable.
A rise in strokes has a financial and physical cost to the world's population.
Rising stroke risks are also expensive
The expense of caring for and treating stroke victims will double by 2050, from $891 billion to $2.3 trillion. The study stated that Asia and Africa will be the primary affected regions.
A crucial issue with implementing stroke preventive and treatment suggestions is the need for more financing. The committee suggests that all governments across the globe enact laws regulating and taxing harmful items, including alcohol, trans fats, sugary beverages, and salt.
The introduction of telemedicine could be transformative, Martins said.
One major issue is that while some nations may have the infrastructure and drugs necessary for therapy, they may not have the doctors to provide them, which can significantly limit specialists' access to care.
The researchers developed 12 evidence-based suggestions, such as setting up affordable monitoring systems, increasing public awareness, and building efficient acute stroke treatment to aid in the global prevention of strokes.