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May Is American Stroke Month
Updated May 2, 2017 7:50 AM | Filed under: Health
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - During American Stroke Month in May, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association encourages Hoosiers to join together to end the fifth-leading cause of death in Indiana.

Despite claiming more than 133,000 lives annually in the United States and being a leading cause of serious, long-term disability, stroke is largely preventable and treatable.

"As many as 80 percent of strokes are preventable," said Dr. Jeffrey Hilburn, a neurologist who is president of the American Heart Association's Indianapolis board of directors. "Most people who have a stroke have high blood pressure, so it's incredibly important to know your numbers and keep them under control to help prevent a stroke."

Normal blood pressure is below 120/80 mm Hg. Nearly one in six American adults with high blood pressure don't know it, according to AHA/ASA.

Awareness is also key when it comes to stroke treatment. For many strokes, the right treatment right away can save lives and improve recovery so it's important to get help immediately. The American Stroke Association's Together to End Strokeā„¢ initiative teaches the acronym F.A.S.T. to help people to recognize the most common stroke warning signs and what to do if one occurs:

F - Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
A - Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S - Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, "The sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
T - Time to call 911: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get them to the hospital immediately.

"Stroke is a medical emergency," Hilburn said. "If you recognize the sudden onset of any of these symptoms, it's critical to call 911 and get treatment quickly."

For more information about stroke or American Stroke Month activities, follow #StrokeMonth on social media or visit

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 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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