May is #NationalStrokeMonth, and the National Stroke Association’s Faces of Stroke public awareness campaign is in full swing! Aiming to change the perceptions we have of stroke, education combined with personal stories are being shared across the nation. Friends, mothers, sons, uncles – stroke and diseases associated with it affect loved ones every day. This May, however, we’d like to join the #NationalStrokeAssociation in shining the spotlights on minorities.
Did you know that women, Hispanics and African-Americans have higher stroke risks? Check out these fast facts from the National Stroke Association:
- Stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer does every year.
- Seven out of ten women are not aware they are more likely than men to have a stroke.
- Women suffer greater disability after stroke than men.
- 425,000 women suffer from a stroke each year—55,000 more than men.
- African-Americans are twice as likely to die from stroke as their Caucasian counterparts are.
- They are 40 percent more likely to have hypertension and 10 percent less likely to have it under control than their non-Hispanic Caucasian counterparts.
- African-American stroke survivors are more likely to become disabled and have difficulty with activities of daily living
- Hispanics in the U.S. are more likely to suffer a stroke at a younger age than Caucasians are.
- Stroke and heart disease account for one in four deaths among Hispanic men and one in three deaths among Hispanic women.
- Hispanics are more likely to have a recurrent stroke than African-Americans or non-Hispanic Caucasians.
In addition to the National Stroke Association’s Faces of Stroke program, the American Heart Association’s #WorkingTogetherToEndStroke initiative seeks to educate the public that stroke, the number 3 killer of women and number 4 killer of men, is largely PREVENTABLE, TREATABLE AND BEATABLE.
Stroke is preventable – There are many guidelines and helpful information for preventing stroke in general, but for the first time guidelines have been developed for preventing stroke specifically in women. According to the AHA, “If you are a woman, you share many of the same risk factors for stroke with men, but your risk is also influenced by hormones, reproductive health, pregnancy, childbirth and other sex-related factors.”
Stroke is treatable–Act FAST. When you recognize a stroke and act fast by calling 9-1-1, you have a greater chance of survival and recovery. Remember the acronym F.A.S.T. (Face drooping, Arm Weakness, Speech Difficulty, Time to Call 911) to help you recognize symptoms and what to do.
Stroke is beatable – ABC World News recently discussed a new study proving consuming fruit each day can decrease your risk for stroke. In a study of more than 760,000 participants, eating “200 grams of fruit a day”, which can equal out to two small apples, reduced the participant’s risk by almost a third! In addition, for every 200 grams of vegetables eaten each day, the risk of stroke can drop by 11%!
Want to know what fruits and vegetables are in season now? Check out ErrolMd’s last post for great websites and recipe suggestions, and check out Simple Cooking With Heart, an AHA sponsored site that with simple, nutritious recipes and preparation videos so you won’t miss a step.
There are many ways we can fight back, from changes you can make to your lifestyle today to habits you adopt over time.
“Together, we can end stroke.”