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Every second is crucial when a person has a stroke and minutes can save lives.

World Stroke Day is meant to raise awareness about the serious nature of this disease for people all over the world.

History of World Stroke Day

Statistics have shown that 1 in 6 deaths due to cardiovascular issues are related to stroke. And stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. Since stroke is a preventable and treatable disease, this does not have to be grim news, but should act as an encouragement for people to pay more attention to their health.

And that’s what World Stroke Day is all about.

Established in 2006 by the World Stroke Organization, World Stroke Day is an annual event that emphasizes testing, education, and initiatives to improve and mitigate the damaging impact that stroke can have on people’s lives worldwide.

The World Stroke Organization is a year round campaign that organizes and interfaces with policy, advocacy, and outreach that will continue to support the progress made for stroke prevention and stroke care.

Themes for World Stroke Day change each year and some of the past themes for raising awareness have included: Strokes are Treatable, “Stroke, what can I do?” and Because I Care.

How to Celebrate World Stroke Day

Make plans to get connected and raise awareness for World Stroke Day by implementing some of these ideas for observing the day:

Learn More About Strokes

One of the most important things to do in observance of World Stroke Day is to learn more about this disease, its causes, prevention and treatments. Here are some important bits of information about stroke:

  • Stroke statistics vary by ethnicity. The risk of stroke for black people is almost twice as high as for white people – and it is more likely to be deadly – making it important to raise awareness among black culture.

  • The risk of stroke increases with age. Nearly ¾ of strokes happen to people over age 65. However, even though it is important that older people are aware of healthy options to prevent stroke, younger people should know that they can be affected by a stroke too.

  • Risk factors for stroke should be tracked by a doctor. These may include health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and smoking.

  • More women die of stroke than men. In fact, twice as many women die of stroke each year than die of breast cancer.

Recognize the Signs of a Stroke

Fast action matters and can prevent damage when it comes to stroke. Studies have shown that patients who arrive at the hospital within three hours of the onset of symptoms are much less likely to have disability after three months than those who have their care delayed.

Warning signs for stroke may include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness on one side.
  • Trouble speaking.
  • Sudden confusion.
  • Trouble with vision, walking, balance or coordination. 

If these symptoms are experienced, call the emergency number immediately and get to a hospital within 60 minutes for the best care.

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