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Ministry of Health warns of types, symptoms and prevention — CMIO(Brazil)

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Considered one of the biggest causes of death and disability acquired worldwide, cerebrovascular accident (CVA), also known as stroke, is the most frequent cause of death in the adult population in Brazil and consists of the diagnosis of 10% of hospital admissions. public. On World Stroke Day, remembered this Saturday (29), the Ministry of Health draws attention to the types, symptoms and forms of prevention.

Strokes are classified as hemorrhagic or ischemic, the latter being the most frequent, representing around 85% of cases. Ischemic stroke occurs when small and large cerebral arteries become clogged. This blockage can be caused by thrombosis (the formation of plaques in a main artery of the brain) or embolism (when a thrombus or a fatty plaque from another part of the body breaks free and through the blood network reaches the brain vessels).

A hemorrhagic stroke happens when the blood vessels rupture, causing bleeding. This subtype of stroke can also happen due to clogging of cerebral arteries and is more serious and has high mortality rates. However, about 30% of strokes remain without a defined origin even after extensive investigation.

Stroke is a time-dependent disease, that is, the faster the treatment, the greater the chance of complete recovery. Therefore, it is essential to identify the warning signs to recognize the occurrence of a stroke. Among the main warning signs are:

  • weakness or tingling in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body;
  • confusion, altered speech or comprehension;
  • change in vision (in one or both eyes);
  • change in balance, coordination, dizziness, or change in gait;
  • sudden, severe headache with no apparent cause;

In case of recognition of these symptoms, you should immediately call the Emergency Medical Care Service-SAMU 192, which will be responsible for screening patients with suspected stroke. Procedures for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment for stroke are covered by the Unified Health System (SUS).

There are factors that can facilitate the triggering of a Cerebral Vascular Accident and that are inherent to human life, such as aging. People over 55 are more likely to develop a stroke. Genetic characteristics, such as black people, and a family history of cardiovascular disease also increase the chance of stroke. These individuals, therefore, should pay more attention and undergo more frequent medical evaluations.

Other risk factors for stroke:

  • hypertension;
  • diabetes;
  • smoking;
  • frequent consumption of alcohol and drugs;
  • stress;
  • high cholesterol;
  • cardiovascular diseases, especially those that produce arrhythmias;
  • sedentary lifestyle;
  • blood diseases.

Prevention, therefore, lies in the adoption of measures such as control of blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, cessation of the smoking habit, in addition to the practice of physical exercises combined with a balanced and healthy diet.

In the last three years, the Ministry of Health has invested approximately BRL 455 million in stroke diagnosis and treatment procedures. There are currently 88 establishments qualified as Emergency Care Centers for Stroke Patients.

Marco Guimarães
Ministry of Health



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