In a first of kind study, doctors at AIIMS are focusing on studying whether there is a link between air pollution and neurological disorders, in particular, stroke in the country. DNA reports that the AIIMS doctors have already analysed 800 patients who suffered from stroke, to study the presence of any “statistically significant” correlation between the disorder and the capital’s rising pollution levels.
The study is midway, informed AIIMS researchers with already 2 years past since its inception. The study is expected to go on for another three years to get concrete results.
“We have examined at least 800 patients. We cannot objectively state the findings of the research with such a small number. To ascertain the correlation between stroke and pollution, we need to have more subjects. In the next three years, the number of subjects would be more…,” said Dr Professor Kameshwar Prasad, head of the Department of Neurology at AIIMS told DNA.
The research is indeed speaks for high relevance given the growing pollution in the capital as well as in light of the recent revelation made by the apex medical institute that the average age for onset of stroke in the capital is 55 years, much lower than the 70 years worldwide. The study had also pointed out that 15 per cent of stroke cases in the capital are witnessed in people under 40, and 25 per cent in people under 45 with hypertension, diabetes and alcohol consumption as leading triggers for stroke. Taking que from this, the new study is focusing the see whether pollution is also a trigger to stroke or not
The Principal investigators of the study have divided the reserach into four phases. The first phase, termed as the “hazardous period”, would have the researcher examine the pollution levels of the area where the patient resides, in the week that she/he suffered the stroke. The next three phases, that is the ” Control Period”. the researchers would focus on the pollution levels in the week before the onset of the stroke, the levels two weeks after the stroke as well as levels three weeks after the stroke.
According to investigators, if the same patient who suffered stroke when pollution levels were high remained normal when pollution levels were low, then the condition is termed “discordant”.
It would then be proved that there is a statistically significant correlation between the onset of stroke and rise in pollution levels. “However, if it is found that pollution levels were high even during the time he remained normal, then the impact of pollutants are not statistically significant on the onset of stroke. This is the basis of the investigation,” Dr Rao informed DNA.