World Stroke Day Opening Ceremony and Launch of Stroke Risk Co-Meter Application HCTM PPUKM was held on October 27, 2016 at the Auditorium, ASSC. The event was officiated by the Hon. Dato ‘Dr. Hj. Azman bin Hj. Abu Bakar, representative of Director General of Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia. Joining the ceremony were Vice Chancellor UKM representatives YBhg. Prof. Dato ‘Dr. Imran Ho Abdullah and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Director HCTM PPUKM, Prof. Dr. Zaleha Abdullah Mahdy.
Stroke is the third commonest cause of death in Malaysia after heart disease and cancer, and leading cause of long term disability in Malaysia. One in six people experience a stroke in their lifetime. 70% of stroke patients suffer severe disability and 30% will become permanently disabled.
Stroke remains an important cause of health burden with health economic implications to the nation resulting from hospitalization, loss of income and cost of treatment including medications rehabilitation and nursing services following a stroke. Stroke affects 45000 patients and contributes to 14,000 deaths annually. The direct and outpatient costs of stroke in Malaysia is approximately USD$76million annually. The burden of stroke is likely to escalate considering the prevalence of metabolic and behavioural risk factors for stroke have reached pandemic levels worldwide. It is quite apparent that there is a need to develop more effective strategies in primary prevention of stroke.
Despite all these alarming statistics, stroke is a preventable disease. Identifying and treating important risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and lipid levels are essential in reducing the incidence and recurrence of stroke. All these preventive measures should be done continuously, as part of a national patient education program.
UKM is excited to announce that now Malaysians can become empowered in stroke awareness and prevention using a mobile app called Stroke Riskometer, which is available in English and Malay languages. The Malay version of the app was developed by the UKM Neurology Unit under the leadership of Prof Datin Dr Norlinah Mohamed Ibrahim, through collaboration with Prof Valery Feigin from the Auckland University of Technology (AUT), New Zealand. The app not only calculates one’s risk of stroke in the next 5 -10 years, but also provides stroke education and strategies to control an individual’s risk factors at their fingertips.
The Key Features of the Stroke Riskometer app include:
- Endorsed by the World Stroke Organization, the world’s leading organisation in the fight against stroke, the World Heart Federation, World Federation of Neurologists, and European Stroke Organisation.
- The Lite version is free for download (Android and iOS), with an upgrade to Pro version for personalized management advice, save and track results, view expert videos and email options
- Calculation of personalized risk of stroke over the next 5 to 10 years within minutes
- Monitoring your risk of stroke at quarterly, half yearly or yearly intervals
- Applies to ages 20 to 90+ years old
- Provides information on key warning signs of stroke – F.A.S.T.
- Indirectly help in controlling heart disease and stroke related dementia
- Optional feature of participation in an international study on stroke epidemiology – RiBURST (your data will be anonymised, encrypted and securely stored in the Central Database of the Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand)
UKM will be leading a clinical trial to determine the clinical and health economic effects of reducing stroke risks using this app. As unhealthy lifestyle behaviours are known to contribute to stroke burden significantly, addressing these will be the primary outcome of this study. A 1 point reduction in validated Life’s Simple 7 (LS7) is expected to lead to 10% reduction of stroke events in Malaysia, which equates to saving approximately US$ 7.6 million annually.
According to Prof Norlinah, “The greatest advantage of this Stroke Riskometer app is that is empowers patients to take charge of their life, and be responsible for their own health. This is in line with the World Stroke Organization theme for World Stroke Day 2016: “Stroke is Treatable; Get Involved”. As the saying goes “Prevention is Better than Cure.”