After years of research it is now becoming more evident what severe impact pollution has on the global population. “Air pollution — including environmental and household air pollution — has emerged as a leading risk factor for stroke worldwide, associated with about a third of the global burden of stroke in 2013, according to a new study published in The Lancet Neurology journal.
The findings, from an analysis of global trends of risk factors for stroke between 1990-2013, also show that over 90% of the global burden of stroke is linked to modifiable risk factors, most of which (74%) are behavioural risk factors such as smoking, poor diet and low physical activity. The authors estimate that control of these risk factors could prevent about three-quarters of all strokes.
The study is the first to analyse the global risk factors for stroke in such detail, especially in relation to stroke burden on global, regional and national levels. The researchers used data from the Global Burden of Disease Study to estimate the disease burden of stroke associated with 17 risk factors in 188 countries. They estimated the population-attributable fraction (PAF) of stroke-related disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) — ie. the estimated proportion of disease burden in a population that would be avoided if exposure to a risk factor were eliminated.”
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