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National Stroke Awareness Month --- May 2007

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. During 2007, an estimated 700,000 persons in the United States will have a stroke, and approximately 160,000 will die from stroke (1). Stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability, with estimated direct and indirect costs totaling $62.7 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 steps in reducing a person's risk for having a stroke (2). Recognizing the warning signs of stroke and immediately calling for emergency medical care are critical to preventing death and disability in persons having a stroke.

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 funds four state-based stroke registries in the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Registry. The long-term goal of this program is to ensure that all persons in the United States receive the highest quality acute stroke care that is available to reduce untimely deaths, prevent disability, and avoid recurrent strokes. Additional information about this program and information about stroke warning signs, prevention, and care is available at,,, and


  1. American Heart Association. Heart disease and stroke statistics -- 2007 update. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association; 2007. Available at
  2. Goldstein LB, Adams R, Alberts MJ, et al. Primary prevention of ischemic stroke. Stroke 2006;37:1583--634.

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Date last reviewed: 5/17/2007


Safer, Healthier People

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
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