The Lancet initiates first Asian stroke forum in Beijing

2008-05-21 05:13:00 GMT       2008-05-21 13:13:00 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

BEIJING, May 21 (Xinhua) -- The British medical journal The Lancet is to organize an academic forum on prevention and treatment of strokes in Asia, where the aging disease is becoming a major public health threat.

Together with the China Society of Neurology (CSN) and the Chinese Hypertension League (CHL), The Lancet is to hold the Asia Medical Forum 2008 from November 14 to 16 in Beijing, discussing the mechanism of strokes as well as prevention and treatment methods among more than 500 scientists, medical experts and health officials.

The World Health Organization estimated about 16 million people will have strokes, the second killer worldwide, in 2008, and one third of them will die.

Faced with aging problems associated with habits of unhealthy diets and little exercise, the Asian nations' populations are threatened by the rising prevalence of strokes. The global medical research community is trying to address those issues at the forum, with topics of stroke epidemiology, primary prevention, diagnosis and acute stroke therapy, prevention of recurrent stroke, rehabilitation, and coordination of stroke services.

Cui Liying, a leading neurologist at Peking Union Medical College Hospital, said, "Stroke becomes a severe burden to the country with two million new cases occurring and 1.5 million dying each year."

"We can foresee that the number of stroke patients will rise in tandem with the society getting older," said Cui, who is also CSN president.

CHL President Liu Lisheng, a hypertension scientist at Beijing Fuwai Hospital, said, "People with hypertension are ten times more likely to have a stroke than people with normal blood pressure."

"I'm very excited about the collaboration of the CSN and CHL on the forum since it is very important that Chinese neurologists and cardiologists work together to fight strokes," Liu said.

Elsevier, The Lancet's publisher, organized two academic forums in the past two years in Singapore on avian influenza and cancer management respectively.

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