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Strokes a rising threat for youth

Update: May, 15/2013 - 10:14
A group of young people eats fast food at a restaurant in HCM City. Daily intake of unhealthy food full of fatty substances is a cause of strokes. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vu

HA NOI (VNS)— More and more young people were suffering strokes, especially in big cities, according to Nguyen Huy Thang, deputy head of the HCM City-based 115 People's Hospital's Cerebral Blood Vessel Ward.

Thang said that 10 years ago, most stroke victims were between 55-60 years old, and only 1.7 per cent were in their forties. However, in the past three years, the rate of patients aged from 40-45 had gradually increased to 3 per cent of total stroke victims.

The number of male patients is four times higher than female sufferers.

"Beer, liquor and high cholesterol food is one of the main reasons," said Thang.

Work related stress was also a factor, he added.

Thang said that at present, his ward was treating around 160 patients, and nearly 20 of them were in their forties.

Strokes were the third leading cause of death after cancer and heart disease, he said.

Every year, about 200,000 people in the country suffer from strokes, and nearly 100,000 die from the disease, according to the latest statistics from the Viet Nam Stroke Association.

"It is the most common nervous system disease, affecting 0.0015 per cent of the population," said Thang.

The rate in over-75-year-olds was 0.01 per cent, according to the association.

Stroke patients should be taken to hospital as soon as possible. If they were hospitalised 10-15 minutes after the episode, their chances of surviving increased by 30 per cent.

The patients could suffer brain damage after three hours if they did not receive proper emergency treatment, he said.

Tran Chi Cuong, head of the HCM City University of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital's Cerebral Blood Vessels Unit, said that to limit the after-effects of strokes, the country should set up specialised hospitals.

The hospitals should be equipped with helicopters to avoid traffic jams.

At present in Ha Noi, only two hospitals have wards that specialise in treating stroke patients, whereas HCM City has three.

"As far as I know, a stroke centre in the US receives 3-4 patients a day whereas my hospital receives 8-10 cases per day. Setting up a stroke hospital is urgent and important," said Cuong.

The most effective way to avoid a stroke was to cut out fatty substances and smoking, and eat fresh fruit and vegetables, he added. — VNS


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