The call to action, issued by the World Stroke Organisation to mark World Stroke Day on Sunday the 29th October, responds to new data that shows stroke was responsible for over 116 million years of life lived with disability (YLD) worldwide in 2016. This adds to existing global mortality data that positions stroke as the second largest cause of death.
There are an estimated 17 million strokes worldwide each year. While stroke incidence and mortality rates in high income countries have been on the decline, progress is still slow and uneven. There are also indications that the risk factors for stroke such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes and smoking are becoming increasingly prevalent in both high and low-income countries. This has the potential to slow progress on stroke prevention.
According to Professor Werner Hacke, President of the World Stroke Organisation, ‘On World Stroke Day 2017 our members are sending out a global message that stroke is preventable and that we all have good reasons to prevent it. We know that 90% of strokes are associated with just 10 risk factors that we can all do something about. Addressing these risk factors would not just have a major impact on stroke, they would also prevent deaths from other non-communicable diseases. Giving urgent priority to prevention now will yield obvious benefits in terms of reduced human, social and economic costs.’