Stroke - No. 3 killer in Malaysia

WHAT is a stroke? According to Nasam, stroke is the third largest cause of death in Malaysia. Only cancer and heart attacks kill more. It is the No.3 killer of middle-aged people. Nasam’s youngest stroke patient is a six-year-old girl.

Stroke is a form of cardiovascular disease but it attacks the brain which is full of blood vessels. The brain receives 20% of your body’s blood which carries vital supplies of oxygen and nutrients. When a blood vessel in your brain bursts or gets clogged, supply stops. That part of the brain starts to die. You have a stroke, very silently.

Brain damage affects your senses, speech and understanding of speech. Your behaviour, thought and memory patterns are altered. One side of your body may be paralysed.

Early signs

Blurred vision Numbness on one side of the body Slurring Mental confusion Loss of sensation and co-ordination Dizziness, loss of balance Sudden severe headaches If you experience any one or two of these symptoms, go to the Emergency Department of a hospital.

Risk factors

High blood pressure Heart disease Cigarette smoking High red blood cells Transient Ischaemic attacks (mini stroke) Diabetis mellitus High cholesterol High alcohol intake Physical inactivity Obesity Hereditary Being male Middle-aged Once a stroke occurs, the risk of having a second stroke is between 10% and 20% in the first year You can help avoid a second stroke through surgery, medication, hospital care or rehabilitation. These are all recognised ways of preventing another stroke. Nasam can provide you with guidance through its experience.

The National Stroke Association of Malaysia (

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