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Stroke Second-Biggest Killer on Cyprus, Warning Signs Urged

NICOSIA — The second-leading cause of death on Cyprus is stroke, with 600-100 cases a year, the association overseeing the illness said, recommending people be aware of the warning signs.

Marking World Stroke Day on Oct. 29, the president of the association, Marina Charalambous and Dr. Andreas Kostis said stroke is also the second leading cause of death worldwide, and leading cause of adult disability in the European Union, The Cyprus Mail said in a report.

Some 30 percent of the cases on Cyprus are those under 65 years of age, showing it’s not limited to the elderly, the cost of treating cases said to come to some 8.3 million euros ($9.63 million) annually.

A drug treatment has been available since 1995 which can prevent the expansion of ischemic stroke, through intravenous thrombolysis with alteplase, while the removal of the clot which causes blockage of the cerebral vessels is also possible for several years now.

“These treatments are offered in Cyprus, both in public and private hospitals, but without downplaying the immediate need to create specialised stroke units,” the announcement said, the paper reported.

Prevention is “the best treatment” and a good relationship and cooperation with physicians can reduce the possibility of such an episode, the association said, telling people to recognize the FAST campaign.

That stands for ‘Face’, Speech’, ‘Arm’ and ‘Time’, where the patient or bystander is prompted to check for a facial droop, speech difficulties and/or unilateral arm weakness and if any of them are present be aware of ‘Time’ being of the essence to act FAST.

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