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Stroke Month: North Dakotans Urged to Assess Their Risks

May is National Stroke Awareness Month and health experts urge North Dakotans to assess their risks and in particular, watch their blood pressure. (iStockphoto)
May is National Stroke Awareness Month and health experts urge North Dakotans to assess their risks and in particular, watch their blood pressure. (iStockphoto)
May 23, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. – May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and North 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 North 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 320 North 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. Michael Manchak with Sanford Health in Fargo 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 - ND