Stroke deaths on rise, could lead 10 million deaths by 2050

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According to a report published in the Lancet Neurology journal, Stroke deaths are on rise and could lead to nearly 10 million deaths annually by 2050 primarily affecting low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

The report underscores that stroke deaths are expected to surge from 6.6 million in 2020 to a daunting 9.7 million by 2050. By 2050, it is estimated that the contribution of stroke deaths in LMICs will see an increase from 86 per cent to 91 per cent.

The projection comes from the collaborative effort of the World Stroke Organization and the Lancet Neurology Commission under which four studies have been published. The report has emphasized the critical role of evidence-based, pragmatic solutions in combating this looming crisis. The Commission authors distilled their findings into 12 evidence-based recommendations, addressing stroke surveillance, prevention, acute care, and rehabilitation.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that implementing and rigorously monitoring the commission’s recommendations could lead to a significant reduction in the global stroke burden.

Dr. Rajiv Bahl, Director General (ICMR) stressed the importance of implementing evidence-based stroke care to mitigate disability and prevent new strokes. ICMR is actively engaged in crafting country-specific ambulatory care models at the primary care level to combat non-communicable diseases, he said.

Dr Bahal said that a notable success is the India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI), which employed tech-driven innovations to digitally monitor over 2 million patients, achieving real-time blood pressure control in 50 per cent of cases.

Professor Jeyaraj Pandian, President-Elect of the World Stroke Organization and a lead author of study, said that there is a need to scrutinize the factors driving this increase. Dr. Ivy Sebastian, lead author of the paper on “Stroke Systems of Care in Southeast Asia,” underscored the diversities and commonalities in healthcare systems, calling for timely interventions such as intravenous thrombolysis, thrombectomy, and stroke unit care delivered through stroke-ready centers.