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May is National Stroke Awareness Month

Twenty-five years ago, President George H.W. Bush put his pen to paper and signed a proclamation designating May as National Stroke Awareness Month. In the quarter-century since, the National Stroke Association and other groups and people have been working diligently to raise awareness of stroke.

As many in Newark know full well, stroke can leave people with disabilities that make it difficult or impossible to continue working. 

On its website, the National Stroke Association urges the seven million Americans who have survived stroke to talk about what they have lived through and to “live with dignity.”

The association is also focused this month on three groups that have higher stroke risks than other populations: women, African-Americans and Hispanics.

The organization notes that there are risk factors that can’t be controlled or changed, including a person’s family history and their genetic make-up. However, there are risk factors that can often be addressed, though they are sometimes ignored or unrecognized. These factors include diabetes and high blood pressure.

The association also shares some startling facts about stroke. For instance, every year “stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer.”

African-American readers, please take note: your risk of dying from stroke is twice as high as a Caucasian person’s risk.

Hispanic Americans should know that they are more likely than African-Americans or non-Hispanic Caucasians to have a recurrent stroke (a second stroke or more).

Those Americans prevented from continuing their careers because of stroke often turn to Social Security Disability for financial assistance. Though a majority of applicants must deal with initial denials of their claims, they can file appeals with the assistance of an SSDI attorney. 

Source: stroke.org, "History of National Stroke Awareness Month," May 2014

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