Hindustantimes wants to start sending you push notifications. Click allow to subscribe

Smoking, lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyle among risk factors for stroke: Doctors

By, Lucknow
Oct 29, 2023 06:08 AM IST

“Stroke cases have gone up among people less than 45-years of age and a common reason is hypertension,” said Prof RK Garg, HoD neurology at King George’s Medical University (KGMU).

Lack of exercise coupled with smoking and sitting for long hours during regular 9 am to 5 pm jobs is a major risk factor for blood pressure and diabetes and which in turn is responsible for making many young professionals vulnerable to stroke.

Smoking, lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyle among risk factors for stroke (Pic for representation)

“Stroke cases have gone up among people less than 45-years of age and a common reason is hypertension,” said Prof RK Garg, HoD neurology at King George’s Medical University (KGMU).

Hindustan Times - your fastest source for breaking news! Read now.

“Professionals between 40 and 50 years of age are trying hard to push their career. With a lot of stress in the office, irregular food habits at home and lack of physical exercise, they become soft targets for hypertension and diabetes. Hypertension makes them vulnerable to stroke, and now in our OPD we are seeing such professionals,” said Prof Garg.

Asked how to identify stroke Prof Garg said, “There are early warning signs that need to be taken seriously.”

Signs of a stroke include sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body. Sudden confusion, trouble in speaking or understanding, sudden trouble seeing from one or both eyes, sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or coordination, sudden severe headache with no known cause.

“Hypertension is almost becoming common among office going people, chasing targets within time frame,” said Prof Kauser Usman, senior faculty department of Medicine at the KGMU.

“Pregnant women too suffer with hypertension and gestational diabetes. This makes them vulnerable to stroke particularly to haemoragic stroke,” said Dr Amita Shukla, senior gynaecologist SC Trivedi Memorial Trust hospital.

“These symptoms, one may think are temporary due to workload, but this should not be the attitude towards early warning signs,” said Prof Garg.

What to do

Doctors said that people susceptible to stroke fall in two categories.

First are those who get early symptoms and secondly those who have a family history, though the percentage of those with family history getting ill is less.

1 Give 40-minutes in the morning for exercise

2 Eat what suits you the best according to your work profile

3 Take a break during lunch hour to walk a few minutes, leaving behind your cellphone and avoid talking office work during that walk

What is a stroke

A stroke, often referred to as a “brain attack”, happens when blood flow to a part of the brain is interrupted. There are primarily three types of strokes, the first being ischemic stroke, which is the most common type, caused by a blocked artery, usually from a blood clot. The blockage prevents blood from reaching a part of the brain.

Secondly hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a ruptured blood vessel, leading to bleeding in the brain. High blood pressure and aneurysms (weak spots in blood vessel walls) can lead to this type of stroke.

Third type is transient ischemic attack also called a “mini stroke”. It is a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain. While TIAs don’t cause permanent damage, they’re a serious warning sign and increase the risk of a full-blown stroke.

Survey points towards growing health worries

In a survey done by Local Circles, a survey platform, about 72% citizens said that they have one or more individuals in their close network who experienced medical conditions like brain stroke, cardiac arrest, heart attack, cancer acceleration in the last 3.5 years.

“Around 11,480 people from 322 districts participated in the survey. Data shows that 32% of citizens surveyed indicated 1-2 people in their close network have suffered, 25% indicated at least 3-5 people closely linked to them, 10% of respondents indicated 7-9 individuals closely connected to them, and 5% indicated 10 or more people in their close social network, said Sachin Taparia, founder of Local Circles.

However, 28% of citizens surveyed were thankful that there was no one in their close social network who had onset of severe health conditions in the last 3.5 years, he said.

In all 68% respondents were men while 32% respondents were women. Among respondents 43% were from tier 1, 35% from tier 2 and 22% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts, he added.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
OPEN APP