Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content
CDC Home

Announcement: American Stroke Month and National High Blood Pressure Education Month — May 2015

May 2015 is American Stroke Month and National High Blood Pressure Education Month. American Stroke Month raises awareness of the signs and symptoms of stroke and encourages persons to act F.A.S.T.* (Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 9–1–1) if someone is having a stroke. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of severe disability (1,2). In the United States, on average, one person dies from stroke every 4 minutes (2).

Stroke is largely preventable. You may be able to prevent stroke or reduce your risk through healthy lifestyle changes. High blood pressure is one of the major risk factors for stroke. Others include high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, physical inactivity, and unhealthy diet.

National High Blood Pressure Education Month focuses on saving lives by increasing awareness and educating the public about cardiovascular disease risks and how to prevent them. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is considered the "silent killer" because it can damage the heart, brain, and kidneys without any symptoms (2). In the United States, nearly one in three adults has hypertension, and only about half have their condition under control (3). Hypertension is the leading risk factor for stroke and heart attacks. Each day in the United States, more than 1,000 deaths are associated with hypertension (2).

To control hypertension and reduce their risk for stroke, patients can take medications as directed, monitor their blood pressure, and eat a lower-sodium diet and more fruits and vegetables. Health care providers can use electronic health records, blood pressure measurement, and a team-based care approach to help improve their patients' hypertension control. Patients and providers can find more information at

CDC focuses on promoting cardiovascular health, improving quality of care for all, and eliminating disparities associated with heart disease and stroke. Additional information is available at and


  1. Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, Xu J, Arias E. Mortality in the United States, 2013. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, National Center for Health Statistics; 2014. NCHS Data Brief No. 178. Available at
  2. Mozzafarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2015 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation 2015;131:e1.
  3. Nwankwo T, Yoon SS, Burt V, Gu Q. Hypertension among adults in the United States: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2011–2012. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, National Center for Health Statistics; 2013. NCHS data brief No. 133. Available at

Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.

All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from typeset documents. This conversion might result in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users are referred to the electronic PDF version ( and/or the original MMWR paper copy for printable versions of official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
A-Z Index
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #