According to a study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research, Public Health Foundation of India, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the incidence of heart disease and stroke in India increased by over 50% between 1990 and 2016. The incidence rate of stroke in India is between 145-154 per 1,00,000 individuals a year. Close to one-fifth of first-time stroke patients were aged 40 years or less. The incidence of stroke is slightly higher in rural India because of poverty, habits such as alcohol and smoking and lack of quality health care. As per the Indian Stroke Association, 17 million people suffer a stroke each year of which six million die and five million remain permanently disabled. There are many lifestyle factors that could increase your risk of stroke from unhealthy food habits, obesity, lack of exercise or a sedentary lifestyle.
World Stroke Day is celebrated on 29th November annually focussing on spreading awareness of stroke signs and symptoms so that life can be saved. The theme for world stroke day this year is - precious time which aims to raise awareness about the symptoms of having a stroke so that people can take action and save lives. It is possible to reduce the risk of a stroke by managing certain health conditions like blood pressure, cardiac diseases, diabetes, cholesterol, obesity, refraining from tobacco, staying away from alcohol, and reducing stress. Regular exercise and a balanced diet could also help.
Here are everyday lifestyle habits that could put you at risk of stroke -
High salt diet - People who consume a high salt diet or diets rich in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol are at high risk of stroke and heart disease. A high salt diet elevates blood pressure and is a prominent risk factor. Managing the diet can reduce stroke risk by 30 percent.
Smoking and consuming alcohol - The nicotine in cigarettes raises blood pressure, and the carbon monoxide from cigarette smoke reduces the amount of oxygen that your blood can carry. Even if you don’t smoke, breathing in other people’s second-hand smoke can make you more likely to have a stroke. Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure levels and the risk for stroke.
Inactive lifestyle - A sedentary lifestyle and obesity are prominent stroke risk factors. As they cause an increase in other health conditions including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes which further increase the risk of stroke. Regular physical activity can lower your chances of stroke. A simple exercise like walking for 150 minutes a week can reduce stroke risk substantially.