Poverty and stroke in India: A time to act

Type Journal Article - Stroke
Title Poverty and stroke in India: A time to act
Volume 38
Issue 11
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2007
Page numbers 3063-3069
URL http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/38/11/3063.full
In developed countries, the predominant health problems are those lifestyle-related illnesses associated with increased wealth. In contrast, diseases occurring in developing countries can largely be attributed to poverty, poor healthcare infrastructure, and limited access to care. However, many developing countries such as India have undergone economic and demographic growth in recent years resulting in a transition from diseases caused by poverty toward chronic, noncommunicable, lifestyle-related diseases. Despite this recent rapid economic growth, a large proportion of the Indian population lives in poverty. Although risk factors for stroke in urban Indian populations are similar to developed nations, it is likely that they may be quite different among those afflicted by poverty. Furthermore, treatment options for stroke are fewer in developing countries like India. Well-organized stroke services and emergency transport services are lacking, many treatments are unaffordable, and sociocultural factors may influence access to medical care for many stroke victims. Most stroke centers are currently in the private sector and establishing such centers in the public sector will require enormous capital investment. Given the limited resources available for hospital treatments, it would be logical to place a greater emphasis on effective populationwide interventions to control or reduce exposure to leading stroke risk factors. There also needs to be a concerted effort to ensure access to stroke care programs that are tailored to suit Indian communities and are accessible to the large majority of the population, namely the poor

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