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National Stroke Awareness Month --- May 2006

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. During 2006, an estimated 700,000 persons in the United States will have a stroke; of these, approximately 158,000 (22.5%) will die from stroke (1). Of the approximately 5 million U.S. stroke survivors, 15%--30% are permanently disabled (1).

Preventing and controlling stroke risk factors (e.g., high blood pressure and cholesterol, atrial fibrillation, physical inactivity, tobacco use, and diabetes) are the most important steps in reducing a person's risk for having a stroke. Recognizing the warning signs of stroke and immediately calling for emergency medical care are the critical first steps in reducing the risk for death and disability among persons who are 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 or 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 for ensuring that patients receive quality care. CDC also supports stroke-care registries in several states designed to monitor and enhance the quality of care for stroke patients. 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 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---2006 update. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association; 2006. Available at http://www.americanheart.org.



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