We just LOVE hearing news like this! A new report published in the academic journal Stroke found that in the past 11 years, death caused by stroke has declined by 30%. Read that again — thirty percent. That’s huge. And that’s not all. Stroke has now moved from the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S. to 4th. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is “one of the 10 great public-health achievements of the 20th century.”
So what is responsible for this incredible decline? The American Heart Association has a pretty good idea. In a recent scientific statement, the AHA pointed to improved treatment and prevention.
Public health efforts including lowering blood pressure and hypertension control that started in the 1970s have contributed greatly to the change. Smoking cessation programs, improved control of diabetes and abnormal cholesterol levels, and better, faster treatment have also prevented strokes.
Another major factor is early recognition of stroke and its symptoms. When it comes to strokes, the saying is true: time is brain. The quicker you are able to identify your symptoms as a stroke and begin treatment, the better your chances of recovery. And while sometimes the symptoms are very clear, such as trouble with speech or face drooping, others are less obvious. For example, did you know dizziness, vertigo and nausea can all be signs of a stroke? You can learn more about stroke symptoms here.
While stroke is still a major public health issue that needs to continue to be addressed, this is an incredible improvement — one we’re extremely happy to see!