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Stroke ranks the third major killer in Hong Kong
The Epoch Times
4/25/2004



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Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Hong Kong and deprives 3,000 to 3,500 people of their lives annually. This means that one in every 2000 people dies from a stroke every year. Some doctor’s point out that strokes are preventable. Most patients do not pay attention to risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol; taking care of these ailments can prevent strokes.

Dr. Cai Dekang, advisor to the Cerebral Nerve Section of Dongfeng Hospital, noted at the First Asia-Pacific Anti-Stroke Conference on April 17 that high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol are the main underlying conditions that cause strokes. An investigation conducted at Dongfeng Hospital in 2002 found that among 75 first-time stroke patients, three-quarters of them had one or more of the factors mentioned above that put them at risk. Most of them did not know they had these medical problems. For example, 56 patients had high blood pressure, 28 had high cholesterol as well, and 26 of this group of patients had not been treated by a doctor before the strokes occurred.

Cai said that lack of exercise and unhealthy eating habits among the residents of Hong Kong contribute to the risk of developing diabetes and high cholesterol. In recent years, the number of strokes caused by cerebral blood vessel blockage has steadily increased. Quoting from Dongfeng hospital statistics, Cai said that in 2002, 84 percent of strokes were of this type, compared to 70 percent in 1989.
Cai suggested that reducing high cholesterol and salty foods, quitting smoking and exercising regularly were the most effective ways to prevent strokes. People over 40 should get an annual physical exam, which will help to identify risk factors and thereby prevent strokes.

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