Overcoming obstacles with Optimism

Today is World Stroke Day. On this day, we hope the voice of stroke education will grow even louder. Strokes can attack any person without notice. Everyone needs to be aware of the statistics of a stroke and how to respond if we suspect someone is having one. Here are some facts from The Internet Stroke Center which offers a wealth of information:


U.S. Statistics

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. More than 140,000 people die each year from stroke in the United States.
Stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States.
Each year, approximately 795,000 people suffer a stroke. About 600,000 of these are first attacks, and 185,000 are recurrent attacks.
Nearly three-quarters of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65. The risk of having a stroke more than doubles each decade after the age of 55.
Strokes can and do occur at ANY age. Nearly one fourth of strokes occur in people under the age of 65.
Stroke death rates are higher for African-Americans than for whites, even at younger ages.
On average, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds.
Stroke accounted for about one of every 17 deaths in the United States in 2006. Stroke mortality for 2005 was 137,000.
From 1995–2005, the stroke death rate fell ~30 percent and the actual number of stroke deaths declined ~14 percent.
The risk of ischemic stroke in current smokers is about double that of nonsmokers after adjustment for other risk factors.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an independent risk factor for stroke, increasing risk about five-fold.
High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for stroke.

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Canadian Statistics

In 2000, stroke accounted for 7% of all deaths – 15,409 Canadians.
Every seven minutes, a Canadian dies of heart disease or stroke.
Stroke was the second largest contributor to hospital care costs among cardiovascular diseases (2000-2001).
Eighty percent of Canadians have at least one of the risk factors for heart and/or cerebrovascular disease: daily smoking, physical inactivity, being overweight, self-reported high blood pressure, or diabetes.
Between 1969 and 1999, death rates for cerebrovascular disease decreased by 62%.

Learn more about stroke in Canada from The Growing Burden of Heart Disease and Stroke in Canada 2003, a report by the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.


Worldwide Statistics

According to the World Health Organization, 15 million people suffer stroke worldwide each year. Of these, 5 million die and another 5 million are permanently disabled.
High blood pressure contributes to more than 12.7 million strokes worldwide.
Europe averages approximately 650,000 stroke deaths each year.
In developed countries, the incidence of stroke is declining, largely due to efforts to lower blood pressure and reduce smoking. However, the overall rate of stroke remains high due to the aging of the population.

Source: World Health Report – 2002, from the World Health Organization.

The American Heart & Stroke Association has a great way to learn and recognize the signs of a stroke.
If you suspect someone is having a stroke, it is important to act F.A.S.T.

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.


Comments on: "World Stroke Day 2014" (4)

  1. We really need the world to understand what a huge number of people and their families have their lives changed by strokes. We need to bring awareness and your post will help bring that attentions.

    • Thank you for you stopping by and leaving your kind words. I do hope people realize the long reach that strokes have. I never realized this until I had mine. I still can’t comprehend its effects at times.

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