For Immediate Release
March 16, 2010
Contact Information

Tanisha Coleman
Sonshine Communications

(BPRW) Different Strokes Particularly High Among African American Folks

(BLACK PR WIRE) -- Did you know that about 700,000 Americans each year suffer a new or recurrent stroke? Well, according to the American Stroke Association, it’s true. This means, on average, a stroke occurs every 45 seconds. The 2003 stroke death rates per 100,000 population for specific groups were 51.9 for white males, 50.5 for white females, 78.8 for black males and 69.1 for black females.

Although different strokes affect different folks, the burden of stroke is greater among African Americans than in any other group. In fact, blacks have almost twice the risk of first-ever stroke compared with whites, and blacks between the ages of 35–54 have four times the relative risk for stroke, based on data from the American Stroke Association.

What exactly is a stroke? A stroke is a type of cardiovascular disease which affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. Consequently, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it starts to die.

In the past, the hands of doctors were pretty much tied when it came to helping stroke victims. The good news is that this is not the case today. Stroke doesn’t have to lead to disability or death, as long as you recognize the symptoms and get yourself or loved one to the hospital immediately.

After Coretta Scott King had a stroke, her daughter Yolanda became the first National Ambassador of the American Stroke Association’s “Power To End Stroke” campaign. More African American Ambassadors are needed to increase awareness of stroke and its warning signs.

Warning signs include (American Stroke Association):
• Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
• Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
• Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
• Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
• Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

Bottom line, if you or someone close to you is having warning signs of stroke, respond by calling 9-1-1 immediately! Every minute and every second counts. And remember, different strokes are particularly high among African American folks! So, get tested now!