Document Type

Original Article


OBJECTIVES: To estimate the frequency of risk factors for stroke and transient ischemic attacks in Pakistan; a multi-city community-based study. METHOD: This cross-sectional community-based study was conducted in various health care facilities including government funded District Head Quarters hospitals, private hospitals and medical centers, and community-based clinics across 27 cities all over Pakistan over a period of three years between 2013 and 2015. Nearly 900 patients were screened during stroke (Falij) screening camps at these facilities and the data regarding past stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) symptoms were recorded along with relevant neurological examinations. A 25 item self-administered questionnaire was used to get relevant information. RESULTS: A total of 651 (72.33%) responded to questionnaire from the 900 screened patients. Among the responders, 403 (61.90%) were males and 248 (38.10%) were females with an average age of 50 ± 15 years. Respondents belonged to six different ethnicities, the largest group were of Punjabi origin (49.90%) followed by Urdu speaking (25.10%) belonged to different professions. Paralysis of a complete body side or an arm or a leg was experienced by 155 (23.81%) patients at least once in the life time knowing stroke as the underlying cause, of which 122 (19.0%) patients reported an event of sudden paralysis experienced during the last year. A total of 179 (27.50%) had felt numbness/tingling in limbs or face while they knew those as symptoms of stroke or TIA and 134 (20.58.3%) patients reported a cardiac arrhythmia at least once in a life time. Common risk factors assessment showed that 217 (33.33%) were diagnosed with diabetes, while 315 (48.38%) were hypertensive. Among the respondents, 88 (13.51%) reported in affirmative to smoking status while 60 (9.21%) reported using smokeless tobacco in the form of Pan/Gutka. More than 180 (27.64%) had raised cholesterol, while seizures, chest pain, heart attack, coronary bypass surgery, pain in legs during walking, snoring was reported by 23 (3.53%), 109 (16.74%), 42 (6.45%), 24 (3.68%), 237 (36.40%) and 150 (23.04%) patients respectively.

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