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Introduction and CausesSymptoms and Effects
PreventionTreatment and Self-help

Introduction and Causes
Symptoms and Effects
Treatment and Self-help

What is stroke?

Stroke is a term used to describe damage to part of the brain. It occurs when the arteries of the brain become "blocked" or "burst", depriving the brain cells of nutrients and oxygen.

What causes it?

The most common risk factors for stroke are:

Other medical associated conditions include:

  • Congenital brain arterial aneurysms and abnormalities
  • Heart and blood vessel diseases
  • Diabetes mellitus

In 2015, 3,259 registered deaths were due to stroke in Hong Kong, and 51.3% of them were in men.

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What are the common symptoms?

Symptoms of a stroke usually develop suddenly and quickly without any warning signs. These include:

  • Sudden weakness, numbness and/or tingling of the face, arm or leg
  • Sudden slurring or loss of speech
  • Sudden blurring of vision
  • Sudden onset of severe headache
  • Sudden unsteadiness or falls

These symptoms should be regarded as an emergency. Delay in seeking medical attention can significantly affect the outcomes and reduce the chances of recovery.

Do You Know...

People with hypertension, smokers and alcoholics are those at high risk of stroke.

What are the complications?

The effects of a stroke depend on which part of the brain and to what extent the brain has been damaged. Stroke can be fatal, or causes permanent disability such as paralysis.

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How can I prevent it?

You can lower your risk of having a stroke by keeping your heart and blood vessels healthy by:

  • No smoking.
  • Control your blood pressure with regular checking every couple of years at least.
  • Eat a healthy and low fat diet, and reduce your salt intake.
  • Moderate your alcohol intake.
  • Do suitable exercise regularly.
  • Control your weight.
  • Get adequate rest and avoid stress.


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What is the treatment?

Stroke can be treated by medication/surgery along with lifestyle changes and a range of therapies from experts such as nurses, physiotherapist, speech therapist and occupational therapist. The choice of an appropriate treatment is based on the severity of the symptoms, the extent to which they affect the patient's life, and the presence of any other medical conditions.

How can I help myself?

To yield satisfactory results from the rehabilitation program after a stroke, it is important to comply with the instructions and visit your doctor and the therapists regularly and have your condition monitored. You have to take the medication as prescribed. Never stop taking them on your own.

If you have any suspicions, you should seek medical advice.

Health Alert

Stroke can be fatal, or causes permanent disability such as paralysis.


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Health Tips
Maintain a healthy diet, regular exercise, avoid smoking and reduce alcohol intake can lower the risk of stroke.
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Last revision date: 2017-11-13