Stroke presents a major burden to individuals, families, communities, and society as a whole because of the disability associated with it and the possibility of exhausting resources. Although a few of the major risk factors for stroke are not modifiable (e.g., age, gender, and race), many can be modified with proper education and medical attention. The aforementioned discussion shows that the risk of stroke increases 2- to 4-fold in the presence of the various risk factors outlined (Table 3). Hypertension itself increases the population attributable risk by 50% to 60%. Educating society about the modifiable risk factors associated with stroke is important for several reasons. It helps persons who are at risk feel more in control of their health, so that stroke is not viewed as a normal part of aging. This sense of control may help promote more adherence to medication schedules, proper nutrition, and exercise, and the cessation of habits that may be deleterious to good health. Directing financial and intellectual resources toward educating the public about primary, secondary, and tertiary stroke prevention would be less costly than allowing the expected increase in societal burden to take place.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology