May is American Stroke Month: Here’s Why it Matters

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the American Stroke Association. It’s a good opportunity to reflect on the game-changing advancements revolutionizing the field of stroke prevention and treatment. Plus, it’s a great time to admit that after 20 years, we’re still obsessed with ending stroke because up to 80 percent of strokes may be preventable.

Here are the facts: Stroke is a leading cause of death and a leading cause of preventable disability.

  • More than 7 million adults in America have had a stroke.
  • Someone has a stroke every 40 seconds.
  • A stroke can happen to anyone at any time.

Prevention starts with awareness.

  • High Blood Pressure is the most common controllable cause of stroke.
  • Recent guidelines redefined High Blood Pressure as a reading of 130/80. (The standard was 140/90.)
  • Under recent guidelines, nearly half of all adults in the U.S. have High Blood Pressure.

Survivors can take measures to prevent another stroke.

  • 1 in 4 stroke survivors have a second stroke.
  • Second strokes are largely preventable with a healthy lifestyle.
  • Survivors stopping their daily aspirin dose can up their risk of having another stroke by 37 percent.
  • Ask your doctor if aspirin can help you reduce your risk of having another stroke and follow his guidance

Stroke treatment is more advanced than ever before.

  • Stroke patients who receive the clot-busting drug alteplase (also known as tPA) within 90 minutes of symptom onset are almost 3 x more likely to recover with little or no disability.
  • Under new guidelines, more stroke patients may be eligible to receive alteplase (also known as tPA) to decrease disability, if given promptly. (Patients with mild strokes were not eligible.)
  • New stroke guidelines have increased the timeframe for patients to qualify for treatment using a clot-removal device to recover with little or no disability – urgency is still required during a stroke event.
  • Someone other than the patient makes the decision to seek stroke treatment, in most cases (66 percent).
  • Calling 911 is the fastest proven way to access treatment because hospitals are set up to treat stroke patients arriving by ambulance.

We can’t treat everyone the same. 

  • In the Stroke Belt, an 11-state region in southeast U.S., the risk of stroke is 34 percent higher for the general population.
  • African Americans are most likely to die from stroke.
  • Stroke death rates in Hispanics rose 5.8 percent each year from 2013 to 2015.

Learn more by visiting: the American Stroke Association website


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