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Ischaemic strokes : management in first six hours.

Keywords: Anticoagulants , therapeutic use , Brain Ischemia , physiopathology , surgery , therapy , Cerebrovascular Accident , physiopathology , surgery , therapy , Human , Neuroprotective Agents , therapeutic use , Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors , therapeutic use , Thrombolytic Therapy

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Cerebrovascular disease (CVD) or stroke is one of the foremost causes of high morbidity and mortality for many nations of the world, posing a major socio-economic challenge in the occupational and neuro-rehabilitational programmes of the ′stroke-survivors′. For example, in USA alone it has been estimated that a sum of 3261 million dollars is spent as direct cost for treatment, in addition to 4104 million dollars as indirect costs, consequent on economic losses of ′stroke victims′. Thus, the new concept in stroke pathophysiology and strategies for stroke prevention have assumed global importance. Among all risk factors for strokes, hypertension is one of the most important and treatable factor. Community screening surveys, by well defined WHO protocol, have shown that nearly 15% of urban population is hypertensive (160/95 mm Hg or more). Though high blood pressure has the highest attributable risk for stroke, there are many other reasons such as patient′s compliance in taking medicine and poor followup in clinical practice that may lead to failure in reducing stroke mortality. In subjects, who have transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs), regular use of antiplatelet agents like aspirin is well established in prevention of stroke. It is also mandatory to prohibit tobacco use and adjust dietary habits to control body weight. Associated conditions like diabetes mellitus etc. should also be treated. It is advisable to initiate community screening surveys on well defined populations for early detection of hypertension and TIAs. Primary health care centres should be the base stations for these surveys, because data gathered from urban hospitals will not truly reflect the crude prevalence rates for the community to design practical prevention programmes.


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