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Thursday
Sep072017

There is an alarming uptick in stroke deaths after 40 years of decline

Photo Credit: Getty/Blend Images/JGI/Tom GrillEEW Magazine Health News // Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Share Red flags, warnings and alarms are going off after a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report shows an uptick in the number of strokes in the U.S. after 40 years of decline.

Stroke death rates have increased among Hispanics and people living in the South.

This rise in grim statistics took place between 2013-2015 according ot the CDC. "These findings are a wakeup call. We've made enormous progress in reducing stroke deaths, but that progress has stalled," said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. "We know the majority of strokes are preventable, and we must improve our efforts to reduce America's stroke burden."

This new report found that the stall in progress is true for 3 out of 4 states across the U.S., not just in the "stroke belt."

While the report does not specifically address the reasons behind the slowdown, other studies point to increased numbers of Americans with risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability, but it doesn't have to be. Almost 800,000 people have a stroke each year and more than 140,000 die, even though about 80 percent of strokes are preventable.

Improving Care and Reducing Stroke Deaths

High blood pressure is the single most important preventable and treatable risk factor for stroke. Hospitals, doctors, rehabilitation specialists, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), pharmacists, and other health professionals can help address stroke risk factors and improve patient outcomes if a stroke occurs.

Stroke is a medical emergency; therefore, CDC encourages educating people on the importance of recognizing the signs and symptoms of stroke early and calling 9-1-1 quickly. It is also important for people to understand how to reduce their risk for stroke and how to prevent subsequent strokes if they have already had one.

Use the letters in "fast" to spot stroke signs and know when to call 9-1-1.

Infographic By American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

CDC efforts to reduce stroke deaths include working closely with partners on the Million Hearts initiative and the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program. These national initiatives focus on reducing risk factors and improving stroke care.

RELATED: TBN co-founder Jan Crouch dies of massive stroke

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