Announcement: National Stroke Awareness Month — May 2016

Article Metrics
Related Materials

May is National Stroke Awareness Month, an observance that raises awareness of the signs and symptoms of stroke and encourages persons to act FAST (Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 911) 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, one person dies from stroke every 4 minutes (2).

Stroke can happen at any age, but increasingly younger persons are having strokes. About one in seven strokes occur in adolescents and young adults, aged 15–49 years (3). Certain groups of persons are more likely to have a stroke at younger ages. Several risk factors for stroke, such as stress, anxiety, and depression, are more common in women than men (4). African Americans aged <45 years have approximately twice the risk for stroke, compared with whites in that age group (5).

Stroke is preventable and treatable. Controlling blood pressure and living a healthy lifestyle (e.g., exercising; eating more fruits and vegetables and foods low in sodium or salt; and avoiding smoking) can reduce your chances of having a stroke.

CDC promotes stroke awareness through several initiatives. On May 17, CDC is hosting a Public Health Grand Rounds webcast on stroke that offers continuing education credits for public health professionals and health care providers. The Million Hearts initiative ( icon), led by CDC and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, also promotes stroke prevention. More information about stroke prevention is available online from CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (


  1. Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, Xu J, Arias E. Mortality in the United States, 2013. NCHS Data Brief No. 178. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, National Center for Health Statistics; 2014. icon
  2. Mozaffarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, et al. ; American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2015 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation 2015;131:e29–322. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  3. Singhal AB, Biller J, Elkind MS, et al. Recognition and management of stroke in young adults and adolescents. Neurology 2013;81:1089–97. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  4. Bushnell C, McCullough LD, Awad IA, et al. Guidelines for the prevention of stroke in women: a statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke 2014;45:1545–88. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  5. Kissela BM, Khoury JC, Alwell K, et al. Age at stroke: temporal trends in stroke incidence in a large, biracial population. Neurology 2012;79:1781–7. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon

Suggested citation for this article: Announcement. National Stroke Awareness Month — May 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:483. DOI: icon.

MMWR and Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report are service marks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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 HTML versions of MMWR articles are generated from final proofs through an automated process. 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.

Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to

View Page In:pdf icon
Page last reviewed: August 25, 2017