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Announcements: World Stroke Day — October 29, 2012

Monday, October 29, is World Stroke Day 2012. Approximately 795,000 strokes occur annually in the United States. One of the leading causes of disability, stroke occurs among all age groups, including newborns, children, young adults, and older adults (1). One in six persons worldwide will have a stroke in his or her lifetime, and every 6 seconds someone will die from a stroke (2,3).

Although stroke is a common disease, it can be prevented. In addition, with timely care and support, most stroke survivors can recover and regain their quality of life. Everyone should take the following actions to reduce their likelihood of having a stroke: 1) know your personal risk factors, including high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, high blood cholesterol, atrial fibrillation, and a history of having a transient ischemic attack or previous stroke; 2) engage in physical activity regularly; 3) maintain a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables; 4) limit alcohol consumption; 5) avoid cigarette smoke (if you smoke, seek help to stop now); and 6) learn to recognize the warning signs of a stroke,* and call 9-1-1 right away if you think someone is having a stroke.

CDC addresses stroke prevention through state-based programs to prevent heart disease and stroke, through the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Registry, and through many partnerships. Information on stroke prevention is available at http://www.cdc.gov/stroke, and additional information about World Stroke Day is available at http://www.worldstrokecampaign.org.

References

  1. Roger VL, Go AS, Lloyd-Jones DM, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics–2012 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation 2012;125:e2-e220.
  2. Seshadri S, Beiser A, Kelly-Hayes M. The lifetime risk of stroke: estimates from the Framingham Study. Stroke 2006;37:345–50.
  3. World Health Organization. The atlas of heart disease and stroke. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2004. Available at http://www.who.int/cardiovascular_diseases/resources/atlas. Accessed October 16, 2012.

* Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; and sudden severe headache.


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