Think Again About Stroke

Think Again About Stroke

May is American Stroke Month, which is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. The good news is that stroke is largely preventable, treatable and beatable. 

Think stroke is a top concern for Americans? Think again. Although stroke is the No. 4 cause of death and leading cause of disability in the U.S., many Americans do not think of stroke as a major health concern.  Additionally, certain populations are at a greater risk for stroke, including:

  • Women: Stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer every year. However, a recent survey revealed that women believe breast cancer is five times more prevalent than stroke. And 40% of women said they were only somewhat or not at all concerned about experiencing a stroke in their life.1
  • Black Americans: African Americans have almost twice the risk of first-ever strokes compared to White Americans, and a much higher risk of death from a stroke. This is partly because Blacks have higher risks of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity — major risk factors for stroke.2
  • Latino Americans: Diseases of heart and stroke rank as the #1 killer of Latino Americans, largely due to the fact that they are more likely to exhibit risk factors such as obesity and diabetes. 3, 4 At least 65% of people with diabetes die from heart disease and stroke. Yet only 1 in 4 Latinos with diabetes know they are at risk.5

Prevent Stroke with Life's Simple 7

To reduce your risk for stroke, follow these seven prevention factors:

  1. Manage blood pressure
  2. Eat better
  3. Get physically active
  4. Lose excess weight
  5. Lower cholesterol
  6. Reduce blood sugar
  7. Don't smoke

Learn more about Life's Simple 7 from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Visit MyLifeCheck now

Think F.A.S.T. About Stroke

An easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke, F.A.S.T. stands for:

  • F = Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
  • 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? Is the person unable to speak or 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 someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared.


Source content for this article was provided by the American Stroke Association. Learn more at

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