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National Stroke Awareness Month --- May 2008

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. In 2008, an estimated 780,000 persons in the United States will have a stroke; of these, 150,000 will die from stroke, and 15%--30% of stroke survivors will be permanently disabled (1). Stroke ranks third among all causes of death, behind heart disease and cancer. In 2008, the direct and indirect cost of stroke in the United States is expected to amount to approximately $65.5 billion (1).

Preventing and controlling stroke risk factors (e.g., high blood pressure, heart disease, atrial fibrillation, high blood cholesterol levels, diabetes, tobacco use, alcohol use, physical inactivity, and obesity) are the most important measures in reducing the incidence of stroke (2). Recognizing stroke warning symptoms and immediately telephoning for emergency medical care are critical to preventing death and disability.

CDC supports six state-based registries in the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Registry, which has a long-term goal of ensuring that all persons in the United States receive the highest quality acute stroke care to reduce deaths, prevent disability, and avoid recurrent strokes. Additional information about stroke programs, warning symptoms, prevention, and care is available at,,, and


  1. American Heart Association. Heart disease and stroke statistics: 2008 update. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association; 2008. Available at
  2. Goldstein LB, Adams R, Alberts MJ, et al. Primary prevention of ischemic stroke: a guideline from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Stroke Council. Stroke 2006;37: 1583--633.

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Date last reviewed: 5/8/2008

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