Go to main content
World Stroke Day calls for healthy lifestyle to guard against stroke
     In support of World Stroke Day, the Department of Health (DH) today (October 29) urged members of the public to lead an active lifestyle to increase physical activity as well as maintain a healthy balanced diet and avoid excessive salt intake to guard against stroke. The public should also pay attention to stroke signs to fight against this public health threat.

     Established on October 29 every year by the World Stroke Organization, World Stroke Day aims to increase awareness and drive action on stroke around the world.

     Stroke happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off by a blood clot, or when the artery of the brain ruptures leading to a haemorrhage. Sufferers may experience sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body), occurrence of a distorted mouth or drooling, slurring of speech, difficulties in swallowing, trouble seeing in one or both eyes, even coma and death.

     "In Hong Kong, stroke is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. In 2021, stroke was the fourth commonest cause of death in Hong Kong with 3 126 registered deaths," a spokesman for the DH said.

     An international study reported that 90.7 per cent of strokes worldwide were collectively attributed to 10 modifiable risk factors, including smoking, alcohol consumption, unhealthy eating habits, physical inactivity, abdominal obesity, hypertension, blood lipid disorder, diabetes, cardiac causes and psychosocial factors.

     "Physical activity directly or indirectly improves vascular functions and stroke risk factors. Epidemiological studies find a protective effect on stroke risk with sufficient amount of physical activities, whether it is simply walking at a faster pace, bicycling or leisure pursuits. For health, adults are urged to do at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent amount and intensity of physical activity throughout the week," the spokesman added.

     Apart from being physically active, members of the public should also keep a balanced diet, avoid smoking, refrain from alcohol drinking, maintain an optimal body weight and waist circumference, as well as regularly check for "triple H" conditions (high blood pressure, high blood glucose and high blood lipids) as recommended by the Expert Panel on Reference Frameworks to guard against stroke.

     The spokesman reminded that, when stroke occurs, the earlier the person takes heed of the warning signs and symptoms and acts fast to get medical attention, the better the result. Members of the public are urged to be familiar with the warning signs of stroke, and act fast for help if stroke is indicated. The warning signs of stroke include:
  • numbness/weakness of the face, arm and leg (especially on one side of the body);
  • sudden occurrence of a distorted mouth and drooling;
  • sudden slurring of speech or trouble with understanding;
  • sudden and severe headaches;
  • trouble seeing out of one or both eyes;
  • sudden difficulties in swallowing; and
  • dizziness, loss of balance or co-ordination, nausea and vomiting with no known cause.

     With an aim of increasing the population's participation in physical activity, the DH will continue organising health promotional campaigns using a variety of strategies to raise public awareness about the importance of healthy living and the benefits of physical activity. The "10,000 Steps a Day" campaign has also been launched to encourage adults to gradually increase their daily step goal to 10 000 based on their own physical conditions, abilities, pace and individual circumstances. Even if the goal cannot be achieved yet, any amount of walking is better than none.

     â€‹Members of the public can get more information about the role of physical activity in preventing stroke at the latest Non-Communicable Diseases Watch (www.chp.gov.hk/files/pdf/ncd_watch_oct_2022.pdf) issued by the DH. For more information on walking tips and relevant health benefits, please visit the thematic website at www.change4health.gov.hk/en/index.html.
Ends/Saturday, October 29, 2022
Issued at HKT 14:00
Today's Press Releases