DALLAS, October 29, 2017 — In recognition of World Stroke Day on October 29, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke, and the Chinese Stroke Association (CSA) announced Boehringer Ingelheim joined a project launched with Medtronic to fund the development of a stroke care quality improvement program in China modeled after the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program.

With a population of 1.4 billion, stroke is the leading killer, claiming the lives of 1.6 million Chinese people annually. Today, China faces cardiovascular and stroke risk factors similar to those in Western nations and hypertension remains the most important risk factor for all types of strokes.1 Additionally, the concept of a “stroke belt” in China has emerged, which identifies specific geographic regions where the mortality associated with stroke is 50 percent higher than that of other regions in the country. Currently, the areas with higher mortality are the northeast and the western/southwestern.2

“Stroke continues to be the leading cause of death in China,” said Yongjun Wang, MD., Ph.D, President of Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University and executive president of Chinese Stroke Association. “The good news is that recent epidemiology data shows the decreased mortality rates. The reason might due to the critical control of risk factors, emphasizing quality of stroke care and the well-developed and organized rescue flow. We are devoted to providing the platform for the education, training, clinical research and public education about the symptoms of stroke. Our collaboration with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association around stroke care quality is one of the projects aimed at improving stroke care in China.”

“Understanding the signs of stroke and reacting quickly are critical to increasing the survival rates and improving outcomes of stroke patients,” said Ying Xian, M.D., Ph.D, FAHA, American Stroke Association spokesperson and Assistant Professor of Neurology and Medicine at the Duke University Medical Center and Duke Clinical Research Institute. “The AHA-powered program that the Chinese Stroke Association is developing is significant given the prevalence of stroke -- particularly hypertension -- in the country, as well as the nearly 7,500,000 of Chinese people who suffer from a stroke. Boehringer Ingelheim joining forces on this program, along with Medtronic, will ensure that when people in China experience a stroke, they get the best quality of care, and the best outcomes.”

The adapted Get With The Guidelines program is a set of “best practices” that aim to continuously improve treatment, enhance the quality of care and prevent future strokes in China. Education about the signs and symptoms of a stroke is a component of the project and is applicable for first responders and emergency medical personnel. Analysis shows only 13 percent of China’s stroke patients arrive at the hospital by EMS, versus 50 percent in the U.S.

“We feel honored to have the opportunity of working together with the Chinese Stroke Association, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and Medtronic to reduce the burden of stroke in China”, said Georg van Husen, M.D., Corporate Senior Vice President, head of the Therapeutic Area CardioMetabolism, Boehringer Ingelheim. “The work we have done to improve acute stroke care through our Angels Initiative with the World Stroke Organization and the European Stroke Organization will add great value to this program. We look forward to jointly working towards better stroke care for the Chinese people.”  

“As a leading stroke care solution provider in stent retriever therapy, Medtronic is deeply committed to working in the global marketplace to improve the quality of stroke care around the world, and particularly in China,” said Chris Lee, President and CEO of Medtronic Greater China. “Our efforts with the American Stroke Association, Chinese Stroke Association, and now Boehringer Ingelheim to significantly improve the quality of stroke care across the country underscore that commitment. Boehringer Ingelheim joining us also adds to the scale and reach of the project and will bolster our collective efforts to make a significant health impact.”


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. 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 these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.                                                                                                    

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. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the Association's science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries: (214) 706-1173

Tracie Bertaut, APR: Tracie.Bertaut@heart.org, (504) 722-1695

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org