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National Stroke Awareness Month --- May 2005

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. During 2005, an estimated 700,000 persons in the United States will have a stroke, approximately 160,000 persons will die from stroke, and 15%--30% of stroke survivors will be disabled permanently (1). Preventing and controlling stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, atrial fibrillation, tobacco use, and diabetes, are the most important measures for preventing a stroke. Recognition of the warning signs of stroke and immediate calls for emergency medical care by bystanders are critical first steps toward obtaining appropriate emergency treatment that might prevent death and disability for persons having a stroke. The warning signs of stroke are 1) sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body; 2) sudden confusion, including trouble speaking or understanding; 3) sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; 4) sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination; and 5) sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

CDC supports programs in 32 states and the District of Columbia that emphasize multiple strategies for targeting stroke and its risk factors in various settings and ensuring that patients receive quality care. CDC also funds stroke-care registries in several states that monitor the quality of care for stroke. Additional information about state programs and the national stroke registry is available at http://www.cdc.gov/cvh. Information about stroke prevention and care is also available at http://www.strokeassociation.org, http://www.stroke.org, and http://www.ninds.nih.gov.

Reference

  1. American Heart Association. Heart disease and stroke statistics---2005 update. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association; 2005. Available at http://www.americanheart.org.

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Date last reviewed: 5/18/2005

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