World Stroke Day 2015, “I am Woman” on October 28

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KARACHI, Oct 26 (APP): World Stroke Day 2015 will be commemorated on
Wednesday with the theme “I am Woman” drawing attention towards the global epidemic of a health condition increasingly affecting women.
Given the fact that women have elevated stroke risk factors such as hypertension, migraine with visual aura, diabetes, depression, atrial fibrillation (a heart disease) one in five women are at risk for stroke compared to one in six men.
Doctors talking to APP Monday said October 28 is dedicated to the
health condition “Stroke” to help educate and empower the most susceptible victims and also the main care takers of the patients struck with stroke.
Dr. Zakia Aurangzaib, a senior gynecologist said preeclampsia, use of birth control pills, hormone replacement after menopause, hormonal change and gestational diabetes are sex specific risk factors enhancing stroke vulnerability among women.
Women were said to have a higher stroke mortality rate than men as six in ten stroke deaths happen to be among women, largely due to stroke occurring later in life for women as then the outcome is more severe.
In reply to a question, she said neurology may not be her field of expertise yet she could not keep herself detach of the campaign meant to forewarn women against an ailment that happens in an instant.
Some stroke subtypes are more prevalent in women such as stroke due to cerebral venous thrombosis and aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, said Dr. Abdul Maalik, a senior neurologist.
Referring to a recent data, he said women over 85 have the highest stroke rates and the situation with average life expectancy improving in developing countries holds its relevance in Pakistan too.
Dr. Abdul Maalik said women with stroke often do not receive comparable care to men with stroke; they tend to be given less acute care and rehabilitation than men despite responding equally well to treatment.
On basis of his professional experience he said that it is very often women who undertake the responsibility of tending and caring the stroke patient in the family said these care-givers do report a decay in mental health after becoming care-givers.
“Women taking care of spouses who have suffered a major disease such as stroke tend to report lower quality of mental health, such as increased depression,” he said.
Pakistan Stroke Society (PSS) and in close coordination with the World Stroke Organization (WSO) have initiated a country wide campaign “I Am Woman and Stroke Affects Me”.
People from all walks of life besides the doctors have been invited to join the campaign and help manage the situation.