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SALT LAKE CITY, October 5, 2023 — When someone has a stroke, every second counts. Identifying the symptoms and calling 911 quickly can make the difference between life and death or long-term disability. According to American Stroke Association stroke survey data, only 39% of Hispanic-Latino consumers said they were familiar with the English stroke warning sign acronym, F.A.S.T., and only 42% could correctly name two stroke warning signs unaided. To help close the gap between knowledge and action, the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, is launching “Juntos Contra el Derrame Cerebral”, a culturally relevant Spanish-language campaign to raise awareness among Spanish-dominant audiences around the use and understanding of R.Á.P.I.D.O., a Spanish acronym for stroke warning signs that can help save lives.

Hispanic-Latino adults in the U.S. have a higher risk of stroke due to unmanaged risk factors, limited access to health care, lower health literacy rates, cultural barriers and socioeconomic determinants of health.[1] Hispanic-Latino stroke patients also have longer delay times to hospital arrival than non-Hispanic stroke patients[2], greater stroke severity[3] and poorer outcomes following stroke[4]. “Juntos Contra el Derrame Cerebral” aims to increase awareness of R.Á.P.I.D.O., address health disparities and ultimately improve stroke outcomes in the Hispanic-Latino community. The acronym is constructed to teach the five warning signs of stroke and the need to call 911 for quick medical response.

The Association seeks to empower the Hispanic-Latino community to learn the stroke warning signs and what to do using the R.Á.P.I.D.O acronym. This approach considers the community's unique cultural and linguistic needs, facilitating better comprehension and response to stroke symptoms. The easy-to-remember acronym stands for:

R - Rostro caído​ (Face drooping)

Á - Alteración del equilibrio​ (Loss of Balance, or Lack of Coordination)

P - Pérdida de fuerza en el brazo​ (Arm weakness)

I - Impedimento visual repentino​ (Sudden vision difficulty)

D - Dificultad para hablar​ (Slurred or Strange Speech)

O - Obtén ayuda, llama al 911 (Get help, call 911)

Projections show that by 2030, the prevalence of stroke among Hispanic men will increase by 29%.[5] The Association’s adoption and promotion of R. Á.P.I.D.O represents significant steps in addressing the lack of awareness of the increased risk of stroke faced by Hispanic-Latino people in the U.S., a group already disproportionately impacted.

"R.Á.P.I.D.O. is a tool that can help save lives," said Veronica Moreno-Gomez, MD, an American Stroke Association volunteer expert and assistant professor at the University of Utah. "The language barrier is among the most significant barriers to health care access and quality. Understanding which Spanish acronym resonated best with Spanish-speaking communities addresses this barrier while increasing stroke awareness and improving outcomes for all."

Achieving health equity requires a multifaceted approach, including targeted education, accessible resources and community engagement. The American Stroke Association’s “Juntos Contra el Derrame Cerebral” campaign includes a public service announcement highlighting R.Á.P.I.D.O, featuring Miami stroke survivor and Association volunteer Noelia Gutierrez. A catchy jingle that helps people memorize R.Á.P.I.D.O and social and digital assets have also been developed to raise awareness about stroke and the importance of timely response within the Hispanic-Latino community.

By leveraging the cultural relevance of R.Á.P.I.D.O. and spreading awareness about stroke prevention within the Hispanic-Latino community, the Association and local Together to End sponsor University of Utah Health, along with community organizations and more, aims to increase knowledge of stroke signs, symptoms, immediate management and modifiable risk factors of stroke, helping bridge the gap in stroke disparities and work towards achieving health equity for all people.[6] For more information about R.A.P.I.D.O and stroke awareness, visit www.derramecerebral.org or www.stroke.org/rapido.

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About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. Connect with us on stroke.orgFacebookInstagramX  or by calling 1-888-4STROKE.

For Media Inquiries:  

Jennifer Merback: 801-205-2489 or jennifer.merback@heart.org 

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) 

heart.org and strokeassociation.org  


[1] Hispanic Health | VitalSigns | CDC

[2] Jones E, Kumar A, Lopez-Rivera V, et al. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Functional Outcome after Thrombectomy: A Cohort Study of an Integrated Stroke Network. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis Off J Natl Stroke Assoc. 2021;30(12):106131. doi:10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2021.106131

[3] .  Bosch PR, Karmarkar AM, Roy I, Fehnel CR, Burke RE, Kumar A. Association of Medicare-Medicaid Dual Eligibility and Race and Ethnicity With Ischemic Stroke Severity. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(3):e224596. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.4596

[4] Jones E, Kumar A, Lopez-Rivera V, et al. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Functional Outcome after Thrombectomy: A Cohort Study of an Integrated Stroke Network. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis Off J Natl Stroke Assoc., 2021;30 (12):106131. doi:10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2021.106131,  Jones EM, Okpala M, Zhang X, et al. Racial disparities in post-stroke functional outcomes in young patients with ischemic stroke. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis Off J Natl Stroke Assoc. 2020;29(8):104987. doi:10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2020.104987, Burks JD, Chen SH, Luther EM, et al. Effect of Hispanic Status in Mechanical Thrombectomy Outcomes After Ischemic Stroke: Insights From STAR. Stroke. 2021;52(11):e715-e719. doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.033326