|NINDS Launches Stroke Awareness Video for Hispanics
Bethesda, Maryland — Each year, more than 700,000 Americans
have a stroke. Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause
of long-term disability in the U.S. The disease also disproportionately affects
Hispanics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hispanics
35-64 years old are 1.3 times more likely to have a stroke than whites in the
same age group. Today, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
(NINDS) released a Spanish video designed to educate Hispanic communities nationwide
about stroke prevention and treatment.
“Many Hispanics do not know that they are at risk for stroke, or that they can
take steps to prevent the occurrence of stroke,” said Jose Merino, M.D., a staff
clinician with the Section on Stroke Diagnostics and Therapeutics at the NINDS,
and the video’s featured medical expert. “They may not recognize the symptoms
of stroke, or know that they need to act quickly to get treatment.”
The video, entitled “Ataque cerebral: Conozca los síntomas y actúe a tiempo,” was
developed in partnership with the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest
national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization and an umbrella for
more than 300 affiliated Hispanic-serving organizations nationwide. The video
is part of the NINDS’ ongoing campaign to inform people they can take action
to prevent stroke and its potential debilitating effects.
“Stroke disproportionately affects the Hispanic community and stroke prevention
must begin with education,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguia. “NCLR
is pleased to engage our national network of affiliates and work with NINDS to
raise awareness of stroke and help prevent its devastating affects on Hispanic
families across the country. We look forward to extending the NCLR-NINDS collaboration
and working together on future projects to educate the Hispanic community about
key health issues.”
The video provides critical information about stroke prevention and treatment
through the compelling, real-life stories of three Hispanic stroke survivors,
supported by expert commentary from Dr. Merino and Walter Alfaro, an emergency
medical technician. The video is divided into three, five-minute segments:
- Preventing Stroke. Dr. Merino defines what a stroke is,
discusses what factors make it more likely that a stroke will occur, and outlines
what can be done to prevent stroke. Dorita, a stroke survivor, shares the lifestyle
changes she made as a result of her stroke in order to prevent the occurrence
of a second stroke.
- Know the Signs. The signs or symptoms of stroke are numbness
or weakness on one side of the body, trouble speaking, trouble seeing, trouble
walking, and sudden severe headache. Dr. Merino describes the stroke symptoms
and explains why it is important for spouses, family members, friends, co-workers,
and other bystanders to recognize a stroke. The segment includes the personal
story of Manuel, whose wife recognized the symptoms of a stroke, and got him
to the hospital in time for treatment.
- Act in Time. Call 911. The importance of calling 911 when
a stroke is suspected is reinforced through a personal story. Ileana, a stroke
survivor, recovered fully because her mother immediately dialed 911, and she
arrived at the hospital in time to receive treatment. Because some Spanish-speakers
are not comfortable with their English, Dr. Merino encourages viewers to simply
say the word “stroke” when on the phone with the 911 operator.
The NINDS and the NCLR are distributing the video this summer, along with other
education materials, to a vast network of promotores de salud (lay health
educators) who work within NCLR’s national network of affiliates. The video also
will be available to the general public.
“The NINDS is deeply committed to raising awareness among Hispanics about stroke
and providing them with the necessary information and resources to help them
to lead longer, healthier lives,” said Dr. Merino. “This video is part of that
commitment. It will help Hispanics understand how to reduce their risk of having
a stroke, how to recognize stroke symptoms, and why it is so important to call
911 right away.”
Stroke risk factors include a family history of stroke, high blood pressure,
heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and smoking.
To obtain a single free copy of the video, call toll-free 1-800-352-9424 (ask
for a Spanish-speaking information specialist). Additional information about
stroke prevention and treatment and about the NINDS is available at www.ninds.nih.gov.
The NINDS, a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the nation’s primary supporter
of basic, translational, and clinical research on the brain and nervous system.
The NINDS aims to reduce the burden of neurological disease among all Americans.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research
Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of
the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary Federal
agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical
research, and investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common
and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.