American Stroke Month 2014

May 01, 2014

May is American Stroke Month and High Blood Pressure Education Month

Did you know?

  • About 795,000 people have a stroke each year.
  • On average, every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. Every 4 minutes, someone dies of a stroke.
  • Stroke is the No. 3 cause of death for U.S. women and No. 5 cause of death for U.S. men. It is the No. 4 cause of death overall.
  • High blood pressure is the leading risk factor for stroke. About 77 percent of people who have a first stroke have blood pressure higher than 140/90 mm Hg. About 78 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure, or one in three.
  • Compared with whites, blacks develop high blood pressure earlier in life, and their average blood pressures are much higher. As a result, blacks have a higher risk of stroke.
  • Stroke prevalence is projected to increase the most in Hispanic men between now and 2030.
  • 80 percent of strokes can be prevented.

Together to End Stroke

May is American Stroke Month, which is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s annual campaign to raise awareness about stroke and inspire action.

During American Stroke Month, the American Stroke Association encourages all Americans to evaluate their personal risk for stroke and learn the stroke warning signs.  Stroke warning signs are important for everyone to know, because bystanders are often the ones who are able to recognize the symptoms and call 9-1-1. The American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke initiative teaches the acronym F.A.S.T. to help people recognize a stroke. F.A.S.T. stands for:



F - Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.

A - Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S - Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "the sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?

T - Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.



Together to End Stroke offers a free “Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T.” mobile app for iOS and Android, to help recognize a stroke. The app also includes a searchable map to find hospitals near you that have been recognized for heart and stroke care.

For more information

To join the American Stroke Month campaign and access campaign resources, visit

To learn more about the American Stroke Association’s stroke cause campaign aimed at African-Americans, who are disproportionately affected by stroke, visit

Stroke Month video/animationStroke Month photos


Important Dates in May:

May 1-3—AHA/ASA Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology Scientific Sessions

May 5- Cinco de Mayo

May 10- Mother’s Day in Latin America

May 11- Mother’s Day in America

May 12-18 – National Hospital Week

May 12-18—National Women’s Health Week/ National Women’s Checkup Day

May 17-20—American Society of Hypertension annual meetings and exhibition

May 17-22—American Society for Neuroradiology

May 18-24 – National EMS Week

May 26 – Memorial Day

May 29—National Senior Health and Fitness Day

May 31—World No Tobacco day

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