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