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Few Aware of Stroke Warning Symptoms

Can You Name 5 Stroke Warning Symptoms? A New Survey Shows Most People Can't

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Minnesota residents appeared to be the most stroke savvy, topping the list of the most informed across several categories. They were more likely to say they'd call 911 if they thought someone was having a heart attack or stroke compared to those in other areas. Mississippi residents ranked lowest on that list, coming in at 77.7%.

Whites, women, and persons with a college degree were more likely to know all five stroke warning symptoms and the importance of calling 911 than blacks, Hispanics, men, and those who had not received a high school diploma.

The survey findings suggest that greater awareness about stroke is needed across the board, but in particular, health educators should target men, blacks, Hispanics, and those with less education. The government's health objectives call for significantly increasing the country's stroke awareness by the year 2010.

"A revised objective of Healthy People 2010 is to increase to 83% the proportion of people who are aware of the warning symptoms of stroke and the need to telephone 911 immediately if someone appears to be having a stroke," the CDC authors write in the May 8 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. This year, approximately 780,000 people in the U.S. will have a stroke. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the country, behind heart disease and cancer.

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