National Stroke Awareness Month

May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and it’s a time for everyone to understand their stroke risk and take appropriate measures to protect themselves from a potential stroke. This is extremely important, considering that every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. has a stroke, and every 3.5 minutes, someone dies from a stroke.

That means almost 800,000 people living in the U.S. are suffering from the effects of a stroke. This month attempts to lower that number by advising people of the warning signs of a stroke and the lifestyle choices that can lead to an increased risk of stroke.

The History of National Stroke Awareness Month

National Stroke Awareness Month was proclaimed in 1989 by then-U.S. President George H.W. Bush. However, this only made official a month that various healthcare organizations were already observing.

Today, this month is promoted by a number of organizations, including the CDC, World Stroke Campaign, American Heart Association, and the National Stroke Association.

Important Facts About Strokes

We can’t continue with our discussion of National Stroke Awareness Month without discussing some of the facts that we learned about strokes during our research.

When we first began this holiday article, we thought we knew everything there was to know about strokes, but I have to say that we were wrong. We found a lot of facts about strokes and the effects they can have on people, so we decided to share some of them below.

  • Over 50% of stroke deaths occur in women.
  • Although more men have strokes, women tend to die more frequently from strokes.
  • Almost 5 million stroke survivors are alive today.
  • Strokes are more common and deadlier in African Americans than in any other racial group in the U.S.
  • The number one risk factor for stroke is high blood pressure.
  • Every year, almost 325,000 preventable strokes caused by hypertension occur.
  • Every minute during a stroke, 2 million brain cells die.
  • Strokes can lead to permanent brain damage, disability, and even death.
  • High blood cholesterol and excess body weight are also risk factors for stroke.
  • People with angina and coronary heart disease have twice the risk of stroke compared to those without these conditions.
  • People who have had a heart attack due to atherosclerosis also have twice the risk of stroke.

Observing National Stroke Awareness Month

During this month, everyone is encouraged to learn more about the warning signs of a stroke and share that information with friends and loved ones. People are also encouraged to share this information with the entire world using the hashtag #NationalStrokeAwarenessMonth on social media.

Everyone is also encouraged during this month to make lifestyle changes that will have a positive impact on their health and lower their risk of stroke. These lifestyle changes include losing weight, getting regular exercise, quitting smoking, and lowering cholesterol.

When is it?
This year (2024)
May 1 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
May 1 Thursday
Last year (2023)
May 1 Monday
Health & Body