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Tobacco News
Doc: Stop Smoking to Avoid Heart Disease and Stroke
  By: -
Source: The Star (my), 2002-05-13, via tobacco.org

Smokers have been urged to stop paying for' deadly diseases.

Consultant neurologist Dr Haniffah Abdul Gafoor advised smokers to kick the habit because smoking was a risk factor for heart disease, the number one killer in Malaysia, and stroke, the number three killer in the country.

"It is better to stop smoking and avoid heavy drinking as preventive measures against stroke,'' he said yesterday at a public forum on symptoms, causes and prevention of stroke in conjunction with National Stroke Awareness Week. 

Reiterating that stroke was the No 1 cause of severe disability, Dr Haniffah said smokers were paying everyday to buy their trophies,' comprising mainly asthma, tuberculosis and hypertension.

At the forum he also countered several myths regarding stroke that  the disease is unpreventable, it cannot be treated, it only strikes the elderly, it happens to the heart and recovery is immediate.

"In actual fact, stroke is largely preventable in many cases, it requires emergency treatment, it can attack anyone including children, it attacks the brain, and recovery is continuous throughout life,''he added.

He advised those who suffered transient ischaemic attack, "to treat it as a gift of a second chance from the Almighty and take the necessary measures to reduce the risk of a stroke.''

"Getting blind in one eye can also be a warning sign for stroke. Some patients do not even get a second chance as such an attack can leave them half alive or dead,'' said Dr Haniffa.

Apart from tobacco smoking and excessive alcohol intake, other risk factors for stroke include hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, previous stroke, high dose estrogen therapy, cocaine consumption and blood abnormalities.


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