Stroke is the third-leading cause of death and a leading cause of severe disability for all Americans. But, African Americans are at increased risk due to factors such as family history, high rates of diabetes and high rates of high blood pressure. The evidence of stroke is clear blacks have higher death rates from stroke and have almost twice the risk of first-ever stroke compared to whites. The impact of stroke is profound and it not only affects the person afflicted, but their families and our nation.
“Stroke is not inevitable,” says Dr. Whitfield. “If you know your risk factors and work with your doctor to eliminate or manage your risks, you may prevent stroke. By knowing the warning signs, and getting prompt medical attention, rehabilitation and survival is possible – even probable,” he says.
“Through the Power To End Stroke campaign, we are teaching people how to reduce stroke risks. We are also teaching our population how to recognize five simple signs of stroke and to understand that getting to the hospital immediately can potentially reduce the pain, suffering, and disability from stroke.” The five simple signs of stroke are:
• Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
• Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
• Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
• Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
• Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.
Visit www.Powertoendstroke.org to access information and tools to help reduce stroke in the African American community.