Are 90% of strokes avoidable? . . . and other stories

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i3803 (Published 14 July 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i3803

90% of strokes avoidable?

A global survey of risk factors for stroke across 188 countries during 1990-2013 concludes that more than 90% of the burden from strokes is attributable to modifiable risk factors, and achieving control of behavioural and metabolic risk factors could avert more than three quarters of strokes around the world (Lancet Neurol doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(16)30073-4). Air pollution is emerging as an important contributor, especially in low and middle income countries. Most of the solutions suggested—increases in physical activity, improvements in diet, reduction in obesity, and improvement in air quality—would have benefits well beyond stroke prevention.

Futile treatment at end of life

“You do a procedure because it can be done” is one of many telling quotations in a qualitative study of the reasons doctors give for providing futile treatment at the end of life (J Med …

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