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Stroke Month: Helping South Dakotans Identify Their Risk

As part of National Stroke Awareness Month, health experts are urging South Dakotans to speak with their doctors about their risks, including high blood pressure. (iStockphoto)
As part of National Stroke Awareness Month, health experts are urging South Dakotans to speak with their doctors about their risks, including high blood pressure. (iStockphoto)
May 23, 2016

PIERRE, S.D. – May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and South Dakota health experts are urging people to be aware of the warning signs, and to take preventive measures.

Having a stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death in the U.S., but researchers say it's oftentimes more disabling than it is deadly.

Chrissy Meyer, communications director for the American Heart Association of South Dakota, says the good news is about 80 percent of strokes are preventable.

“Public Enemy Number One is high blood pressure, when we talk about stroke risk factors,” she states. “And so, we really want to make people aware that they need to be having their blood pressure checked."

According to the latest numbers from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400 South Dakotans died from strokes in 2013.

Nationally, nearly 800,000 people suffer strokes every year. And Meyer says Native American adults and other people of color are at a higher stroke risk than their white peers.

"One of the key things that Native Americans, African-Americans and really anyone should be doing is having those conversations with whomever their primary care physician is, to identify a prevention plan that will keep them stroke-free," she points out.

And as part of Stroke Awareness Month, Dr. Jitendra Sharma with Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, participated in nationwide Twitter chat to talk about how to prevent and treat a stroke. You can find more information under #strokechat.



Brandon Campbell, Public News Service - SD