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Study Shows Lack of Stroke Awareness Amongst Singaporeans

Photo: 10 Tips To Reduce Your Risk of Stroke (www.healthxchange.com.sg)

Strokes are one of the world’s biggest killers, claiming the lives of 5.7 million people a year. In Singapore, strokes are the 4th leading cause of death after cancer, ischemic heart disease and pneumonia. And with stroke incidence rates on the rise by 15.8% in the last five years, this epidemic shows no signs of slowing down.

Yet, a recent study conducted by a team of students from the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine found a general lack of stroke awareness amongst the Singaporean population. Even participants who were at a higher risk of stroke did not appear to be well-informed about the condition.Stroke Awareness -textbox

Under supervision of Dr Lim Wei-Yen from the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, the team interviewed1522 households to assess the overall knowledge level of stroke symptoms and risk factors.

When asked to identify risk factors associated with stroke, none of the respondents could correctly name allseven main risk factors of having a stroke (right). Less than 40% of the respondents surveyed were aware of two or more of the risk factors, while nearly 30% did not know of any established risk factors. Likewise, 52.4% of participants were also unable to identify any key warnings symptoms of stroke.

Getting immediate medical attention can mean the difference between life and death to someone who has suffered a stroke. Yet, alarmingly, the study also found that 40% of the respondents did not know the number to dial for an emergency ambulance in Singapore (995).








An Educational Campaign in sight?

The results of this study raise the issue of whether enough is being done to educate the general public on stroke awareness – including spotting signs and symptoms, identifying risk factors and knowing about the consequences of a stroke.

The main signs that someone is suffering a stroke are:

Stroke F  Weakness on one side of the face, with corner of mouth drooping down






Stroke A  One-sided weakness in the arms or legs (inability to raise arms)






Stroke S Slurred speech or difficulty talking






Should you experience any of these symptoms, call 995 and go to a hospital immediately.

Source: National Neuroscience Institute (NNI)

In the meantime, here’s what you can do to stay healthy and reduce the risk of stroke:














This study was also featured in the September - December 2013 issue of Stroke Watch, the official newsletter of the Singapore National Stroke Association. 

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