Promoting Stroke Awareness In Hispanic Community

Armen Hareyan's picture
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National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched a new community education program, which broadens the Institute's national stroke education campaign Know Stroke.

Know the Signs. Act in Time. to promote stroke awareness among Hispanics in the United States.

The program's key component is a toolkit, Ataque cerebral: conozca los s'ntomas y act'e a tiempo, that can be used by promotores de salud (lay health educators) in charlas (health talks) to educate their communities about the signs of stroke and the importance of calling 911 promptly to receive appropriate medical treatment. Prompt treatment can dramatically decrease or even prevent long-term disabilities caused by a stroke.

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"Some people do not recognize stroke as a medical emergency and may not feel comfortable calling 911 due to possible perceived language barriers," said Jos' G. Merino, M.D., staff clinician in the Section of Stroke Diagnostics and Therapeutics at NINDS. "It is important that Hispanics know how to recognize the signs of stroke and feel confident saying only 'stroke' when calling 911 to receive immediate medical treatment."

Stroke is the third leading cause of death and one of the leading causes of adult, long-term disability in the United States. Each year, about 700,000 people have a new or recurrent stroke. Hispanics have a higher rate of risk factors that increase the likelihood of stroke. These include diabetes, excessive weight, high blood pressure, and cigarette smoking.

Many people do not know the symptoms or what to do when they witness someone having a stroke. The warning signs of stroke are:

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