Navigation Links
Medical and patient communities call for urgent action to prevent stroke crisis in Latin America

  • Medical and patient communities call on national policymakers in Latin America to take urgent action against preventable strokes that strike millions of people with atrial fibrillation (AF) each year
  • AF increases the risk of stroke fivefold and is responsible for one in five of all ischemic strokes caused by a blood clot blocking a blood vessel in the brain 1,2,3,4
  • Millions of people in Latin America suffer from AF
    • In Brazil, there are around 1.5 million patients living with AF 5
    • In Venezuela, it is thought there are 230,000 AF sufferers, with this figure predicted to rise to one million by 2050 6
  • The consequences of stroke can devastate not only a patient's life, but also that of families and carers. 7,8 Long-term help and care is required for most survivors 9
  • The economic implications of stroke are significant. For example, in Argentina and Brazil, national healthcare spending on initial hospitalization for stroke patients has been calculated at approximately US$434 million and US$450 million, respectively 10,11
  • The impact of stroke is predicted to rise dramatically as the population ages and it has been predicted that deaths due to stroke in Latin America will triple by 2024 12

Mexico City, 8 September 2011 Urgent coordinated action from national governments, medical societies and patient organizations is needed to avoid a public health crisis resulting from the tide of preventable strokes that leave many people with atrial fibrillation (AF) mentally and physically disabled or dead, every year. How Can We Avoid a Stroke Crisis in Latin America?, a report from Action for Stroke Prevention a group of health experts from around the world - reveals the huge economic, social and personal burden of AF-related strokes across the region. Launched today at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) 3rd Latin America Conference, the report proposes measures to tackle stroke in patients with AF, the most common, sustained abnormal heart rhythm and a major cause of stroke.

"This is an epidemic that is already happening. Stroke is a serious public health threat in Latin America," said Dr. Carlos Cant, Professor of Stroke Program at the Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico; Founding Member of the Mexican Stroke Association. "Compared with the general population, people with atrial fibrillation have a significantly higher risk of stroke and these strokes tend to be more severe, cause greater disability and have worse outcomes. It is therefore likely that these strokes incur greater costs to healthcare systems, survivors and their families."

Atrial Fibrillation-Related Strokes Are Preventable

Action for Stroke Prevention's report highlights the magnitude of the impact of stroke in Latin America and outlines measures to prevent stroke in people who have AF. The under-diagnosis of AF, as well as suboptimal use of anticlotting therapies and side-effects of current treatments, mean that an unnecessary and heavy burden is placed on patients, their families and carers, as well as healthcare systems across the region. There are simple actions, which if taken now could prevent a substantial number of deaths, disabilities, and costs resulting from stroke.

Action for Stroke Prevention's recommendations, which are endorsed by 37 medical and patient organizations from Latin America and around the world include:

  • Improving awareness of the impact of AF and AF-related stroke
  • Developing methods for early and adequate diagnosis of AF and stroke risk assessment
  • Taking new and better approaches to prevent stroke in patients with AF
  • Facilitating the exchange of best practice between national governments in Latin America
  • Developing strategies to support adherence to guidelines
  • Providing equal and adequate administration of therapy for patients with AF across countries in Latin America
  • Advancing research into the causes, prevention and management of AF, and addressing the current paucity of epidemiological information in Latin America

"The majority of AF-related strokes are preventable through earlier detection and better disease management. Our report's recommendations offer strategic measures that can be taken to prevent a potentially devastating epidemic," said Dr. Jorge Gonzalez-Zuelgaray, Chief of Service of Arrhythmias and Electrophysiology, Sanatorio de la Trinidad San Isidro, Buenos Aires; president, Arrhythmia Alliance and Atrial Fibrillation Association, Argentina. "Increasing understanding of AF and AF-related stroke among governments, healthcare providers and the public, encouraging the development and use of new approaches to the management of AF, and improving adherence to clinical guidelines are the first steps."

Improving Access to Better Patient Care

In addition to a high risk of stroke, patients with AF suffer from more severe strokes and have a poorer prognosis after the event than patients without AF. For many patients, surviving a stroke can be worse than dying from one. Stroke often results in widespread and long-lasting damage and disability to patients. Basic functions many of us take for granted, such as walking and speaking, can be severely affected and the sudden onset of stroke means that the affected individual and their family members are not prepared to deal with the physical, psychological and financial burden it can impose.

"Policymakers and payers need to better understand AF and AF-related stroke to inform their decision making," said Trudie Lobban, Founder and Trustee, Arrhythmia Alliance, and co-founder and CEO, Atrial Fibrillation Association. "The risk of an AF-related stroke increases with age. We each have a one in four lifetime chance of developing AF so it is clear that there is an unmet medical need for stroke prevention in people with atrial fibrillation."

Patients with AF often do not have sufficient access to information about their condition and its treatment but a number of organizations are working to improve access to information on AF in Latin America.

"When diagnosed with AF, people can feel uniformed and unsupported. They are on an emotional rollercoaster living with the distress that can be caused by AF symptoms and the fear of stroke," said Mellanie True Hills, Founder and CEO of "It is essential that we remove the barriers to patient care, and support the improvement of patient and physician communication and education. If we act now strategically and deliberately prevention is possible."


Contact: Melissa Gonzalez

Related medicine news :

1. Launches Online Store “The Relief Shop” - What Does this Medical Supply Store Carry and How Can They Help You?
2. Medical Transcription Services and EHR Provider MxSecure Launches New Enhanced Website with Goal of Improved Physician Productivity
3. Medical Training School, Pima Medical Institute Offering First Bachelor's Degree Program
4. FDA Seeks Reduction in Radiation From Medical Scans
5. UH Case Medical Center researchers publish promising findings for advanced cervical cancer
6. University of Virginia Health System Medical Laboratories Selects Sunquest's Specimen Collection Solution
7. Medical Imaging Northwest Completes Phase I of Its Healthcare IT Integration to Maintain Patient Care Improvements
8. Centene Corporation Hosts Medical Management Systems Update in New York City
9. Nominated as Best New Medical Blog of 2009
10. Medical Malpractice Survivors Urge President Obama to Keep Tort Reform out of Health Insurance Bill
11. Tufts Medical Center and Boston Medical Center Nurses Hold a Joint Informational Picket to Protest Unsafe Staffing and Practice Conditions
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... Lakeview Health, a Jacksonville-based drug and ... sobriety and show through pictures what a positive difference it makes. The social ... the hashtag #FacesOfGratitude on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Short stories ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... The McHenry County ... recent successful appellate decision obtained by Attorneys Francisco J. Botto and Alex C. Wimmer. ... Illinois Workers’ Compensation Comm’n, 2015 IL App (2d) 130884WC. , According to court documents, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Beddit® has launched a new Android ... The new app features a more intuitive SleepScore™ that rates sleep quality on a ... The SleepScore is created by a proprietary algorithm. Beddit analyzes the data to provide ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Today, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) ... below 10,000 for the first time since 2011. In 2014, there were 9,967 fatalities ... released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32,675 people were killed in ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Privately owned Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization ... current state of the art research, development and manufacturing facility outside of Fort ... capacity as well as to support its clients’ growing research and development and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 On Tuesday, November 24, ... trial against Wright Medical Technology, Inc. for product ... metal-on-metal hip implant device, awarded $11 million in ... week trial and three days of deliberations, the ... was defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous, and that ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 Kitov Pharma ... KTOV), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of ... conditions, today announced the closing of its previously announced ... ADSs ), each representing 20 ordinary shares of the ... The ADSs and warrants were issued in a fixed ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... DIEGO , Nov. 25, 2015  Today AVACEN Medical announced the issue of ... Thermal Energy Including Blood Viscosity Adjustment ". This patent shields the company,s AVACEN 100 dry heat ... Treatment Method. Photo - ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: