World Stroke Day

One in six people worldwide will have a stroke in their lifetime. In the United States, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds.
In recognition of World Stroke Day on Oct. 29, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association urges those who care for others to learn the stroke warning signs since bystanders often need to act in an emergency.
A new survey commissioned by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association found that many people who care for family or friends at high risk for stroke don’t know the potentially life-saving warning signs.
· Only 41 percent of people who care for individuals with other health concerns other than stroke know three or more stroke warning signs as compared to 58 percent of those who care for stroke survivors.
· Knowledge of three or more stroke warning signs was slightly better (46 percent) among people who care for individuals with high blood pressure, a major risk factor for stroke.
Virtually all surveyed said they would call 9-1-1 if they thought someone was having a stroke, but a recent study showed more than a third of stroke patients don’t get to the hospital by ambulance.
The American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke initiative, nationally sponsored by Covidien, a global healthcare product company, teaches the acronym F.A.S.T. to remember stroke warning signs:
F – Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
A – Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S – Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
T – Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.
The association offers a free mobile app to help people spot a stroke and identify award-winning hospitals nearby.
This year, 795,000 people in the United States will have a first or recurrent stroke. Other than a prior stroke, major stroke risk factors include:
· Transient ischemic attack – About 15 percent of strokes are preceded by a TIA (or “mini stroke”).
· High blood pressure – It’s the most important controllable risk factor for stroke. About 77 percent of people who have a first stroke have blood pressure higher than 140/90 mm Hg. An estimated 78 million Americans have hypertension.
· Atrial fibrillation (Afib) – It increases stroke risk up to five times and affects more than 2.7 million Americans.
· Smoking – Current smokers have two to four times the stroke risk of nonsmokers or those who quit more than 10 years ago. In 2011, 21.3 percent of men and 16.7 percent of women 18 or older were cigarette smokers.
For more information about the stroke warning signs and mobile app, risk factors or Together to End Stroke, visit www.StrokeAssociation.org.
About the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association
The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — America’s No. 4 killer and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent, treat and beat stroke. The Dallas-based association was created in 1997 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit strokeassociation.org.

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october, 2021

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