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    Stroke: Where Does Your State Rank?

    Stroke Prevalence Rate Highest in Mississippi, Lowest in Connecticut
    WebMD Health News

    May 17, 2007 -- Mississippi leads the U.S. in stroke prevalence, and Connecticut has the nation's lowest stroke prevalence rate, says the CDC.

    The CDC announced that news today in its first state-by-state list of stroke prevalence rates.

    Data came from a 2005 health survey of more than 356,000 civilian adults nationwide. The survey didn't include people living in nursing homes or other institutions.

    In telephone interviews conducted for the survey, participants were asked, "Has a doctor or other health professional ever told you that you had a stroke?"

    Overall, 2.6% of participants answered "yes" to that question. That translates to more than 5.8 million U.S. stroke survivors, states the report, published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

    The journal also includes a separate study showing that fewer than half of U.S. stroke patients get to the hospital within two hours of the onset of stroke symptoms. Swift treatment is essential for clot-busting stroke drugs.

    Learn Stroke Symptoms

    Before you read the state-by-state stroke prevalence list, take a moment to review this list of stroke symptoms:

    • Sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arm, or leg
    • Abrupt loss of vision, strength, coordination, sensation, speech, or the ability to understand speech. These symptoms may become more marked over time.
    • Sudden dimness of vision, especially in one eye
    • Sudden loss of balance, possibly accompanied by vomiting, nausea, fever, hiccups, or trouble with swallowing
    • Sudden and severe headache with no other cause followed rapidly by loss of consciousness
    • Brief loss of consciousness
    • Unexplained dizziness or sudden falls

    Call 911 or seek other emergency care immediately if you or someone you know experiences possible symptoms of stroke. Don't wait to see if the symptoms pass.

    State Stroke Prevalence Rates

    Here is the age-adjusted percentage of participants in each state or territory who said they had been diagnosed as ever having a stroke.

    The report shows "an approximately two-fold difference between states with the highest and lowest prevalence estimates," says the CDC.

    States or territories with the same prevalence rate are ranked together.

    1. Mississippi: 4.3%
    2. Oklahoma and Washington, D.C.: 3.4%
    3. Louisiana: 3.3%
    4. Alabama and Nevada: 3.2%
    5. Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee: 3.1%
    6. Arkansas, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, and West Virginia: 3%
    7. Georgia and South Carolina: 2.9%
    8. Florida, Hawaii, and North Carolina: 2.8%
    9. Virginia: 2.7%
    10. California, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Dakota, and Utah: 2.6%
    11. Alaska, Indiana, and Oregon: 2.5%
    12. Idaho, Maine, New York, and Washington: 2.4%
    13. Kansas and Ohio: 2.3%
    14. Nebraska, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania: 2.2%
    15. Arizona, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont: 2.1%
    16. Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Puerto Rico: 1.9%
    17. North Dakota: 1.8%
    18. Colorado and Minnesota: 1.7%
    19. Connecticut: 1.5%

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