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May is American Stroke Month

San Diego County CA— During American Stroke Month, May, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association encourages San Diegans to join together to end the 2nd leading cause of death worldwide, stroke.

Despite striking more than 7 million adults in the United States annually and being a leading cause of serious, long-term disability, globally, stroke is largely preventable and treatable.

In an effort to help San Diegans learn more about how to take care of their heart and prevent stroke, the American Heart Association and Tri-City Medical Center are hosting a free “Know Your Numbers: Prevention Starts with Awareness!” program. The program, Wednesday, May 16 at Tri-City Wellness & Fitness Center in Carlsbad, features American Heart Association San Diego Division board member and Tri-City Medical Center Cardiologist, Dr. Karim El-Sherief.

The program is an opportunity to learn about new blood pressure guidelines and what you can do to strengthen your cardiovascular and brain health. Participants will be provided with an opportunity to take their own blood pressure and will also be provided with a no cost online tool they can utilize to track their blood pressure readings. According to Dr. El-Sherief, knowing your numbers is not enough.  “Knowing your numbers is only the first step,” he explains, “The objective is to know your numbers, as well as what they mean. And that is what we will explain May 16.”

High blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke – about three out of four first strokes are associated with high blood pressure. Nearly half of all adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure, according to recent AHA/ASA Hypertension Guidelines, which redefine high blood pressure as 130/80 mm Hg and normal blood pressure is below 120/80 mm Hg. Eating healthfully, being active and checking your blood pressure regularly can reduce your risk.

Education is also key when it comes to treating stroke. Immediate medical care is crucial to access life-saving treatment in many cases. The American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke® initiative, sponsored nationally by Medtronic, teaches the acronym F.A.S.T. to help people to recognize the most common stroke warning signs and what to do if one occurs:

  • F – Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • A – Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S – Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • T – Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Follow #CheckItSanDiego on social media, visit StrokeAssociation.org/strokemonth or contact the San Diego office at (858) 410-3850.

The “Know Your numbers. Prevention Starts With Awareness!” program is part of the American Heart Association’s Life is Why North County campaign. Life is Why North County is locally sponsored by Tri-City Medical Center.

  • WHAT:  Know Your Numbers. Prevention Starts with Awareness! program Prevention and knowledge are the keys to a healthy heart and brain 
  • WHEN: Wednesday, May 16th, 11:00-1:00 (lunch will be served)
  • WHERE: Tri-City Wellness & Fitness Center- 6250 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, CA 92009
  • RSVP: via telephone at 760.931.3171