Escalating Stroke Mortality Rates: World Stroke Organization and Lancet Neurology Commission Findings

The Commission issued four papers with practical worldwide stroke reduction recommendations.

A report in the esteemed Lancet Neurology journal predicts of a potential annual stroke death toll of nearly 10 million by 2050, disproportionately affecting low- and middle-income countries. This projection, supported by the World Stroke Organization and Lancet Neurology Commission, anticipates a surge from 6.6 million in 2020 to 9.7 million in 2050. Emphasizing the importance of evidence-based, pragmatic solutions, the report suggests implementing and closely monitoring the commission’s recommendations to mitigate this impending global stroke crisis.

The Commission’s key recommendations include:

  • Implementation of low-cost surveillance systems to collect exact epidemiological stroke data to inform preventative and treatment efforts.
  • Increased public awareness and promotion of healthy lifestyles by broad use of mobile and digital technology, including training and awareness efforts.
  • Prioritization of comprehensive planning for acute stroke care services, including capacity building, training, equipment procurement, access to treatment, inexpensive drugs, and adequate budget allocation.

Dr. Rajiv Bahl, Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), highlights the significance of implementing evidence-based stroke care for disability prevention. The ICMR actively develops primary care methods to treat non-communicable diseases, which are supported by government initiatives such as the successful India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI). Professor Jeyaraj Pandian, President-Elect of the World Stroke Organization, urges for a closer look at the causes contributing to the rise in stroke incidence.

Dr. Ivy Sebastian, a Neurologist and Stroke Fellow in Calgary, Canada, and main author of the “Stroke Systems of Care in Southeast Asia” article, underlines the importance of prompt interventions in varied healthcare systems. Dr. Yogeshwar Kalkonde, author of “Stroke Surveillance in Southeast Asia,” emphasizes India’s National Stroke Registry Program and Thailand’s national database. Dr. Prashant Mathur, Director of NCDIR, ICMR, Bangalore, emphasizes the necessity of national hospital-based and population-based stroke registries in India. Dr. Meenakshi Sharma, Scientist-G at ICMR’s NCD division, underlines the necessity of developing stroke care models and tackling high blood pressure through the India Hypertension Control Initiative.

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