©️ World Stroke Organization (WSO) News Release: May 2020

Transforming the prevention of stroke and dementia

15th June 2020

The World Stroke Organization (WSO) has published a strategic framework that aims to transform the prevention of stroke and dementia. Published in The Lancet Neurology, the WSO Declaration on Global Prevention of Stroke and Dementia, recognises the commonalities of stroke and dementia risk and calls for urgent action by governments and healthcare policy bodies to address limitations of the current prevention strategy.

The WSO reports that over the past decade, the risk of stroke in an adult lifetime has increased to 1 in 4 from 1 in 6. Without new evidence-based interventions, the WSO projects a current trajectory of disease that will lead to an annual death toll of 12 million stroke deaths and 5 million dementia deaths by 2050. 

Highlighting the need for action in low- and medium-risk populations, the Declaration identifies four interdependent interventions that will significantly reduce the incidence and prevalence of stroke and dementia. The strategy also accounts for the challenges experienced by Low- and Middle- Income countries, outlining a lower cost alternative to current prevention approaches.

In response to this new strategic framework, Professor Michael Brainin, President of the WSO said "COVID-19 has spurred previously inconceivable levels of government intervention and individual behaviour change around the world, but we have been effectively living with a stroke pandemic and a failing prevention strategy for years. The need for radical action is clear and our prevention principles provide low cost, evidence-based approaches that if implemented globally would not only save millions of lives but would deliver savings of hundreds of billions of dollars annually. This is money that will be desperately needed to strengthen global health systems and to fuel economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19".

More information and the full text on WSO's declaration can be found here