April is National Minority Health Month
The Health status of minorities in America is that bad that there is a month dedicated to the overall health status of minorities in the United States. As a minority living and studying in the United States, it is impossible to overall health status of minorities: African American/blacks, Asian Americans, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian.
Minorities have the worse health conditions in the United States, with African Americans leading the pack. For instance, in 2005, the death rate for African Americans was higher for heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma, pneumonia, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and homicides.
Let's touch on stroke for a bit. Stoke is the third leading cause of death among American adults.Interestingly, 80% of stroke is preventable.
African Americans are 1.5X more likely than white adults to have a stroke and are 50% more likely to die from it. African Americans suffer disproportionately more than whites and every other minority group in the United States when it comes to diseases and illnesses (http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov).
American Indians/Alaska Natives are 60% more likely to have a stroke than white adults in the U.S. The women are more likely to have twice the rate of stroke than white women, be obese,& have high blood pressure.
What is a Stroke?
What is a Stroke?
A stroke is basically cutting off vital blood flow and oxygen to the brain, a condition known as ischemia. This may result from a blood clot that blocks an artery, or a blood vessel break. Brain cells become necrotic and because the brain controls the body, many functions are affected, most commonly speech and weakness or paralysis of the body.
Common Symptoms of a Stroke
- sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body
- sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- sudden severe headache with no known cause
Risk Factors for Stroke
- High Blood Pressure
- Cigarette smoking
- Heart disease
- Poor diet
- Physical Inactivity
- High Cholesterol
- Alcohol abuse
It is very important for people to be aware of their risk factors for stroke, and to recognize the first symptoms of a stroke.
How can you recognize that someone is having a stroke? (FAST)
Facial weakness: Can the person smile? Has their mouth or an eye drooped?
Arm weakness: Can the person raise both arms?
Speech problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
Time to call 911
Research has shown that eating lots of fruits and vegetables and regular exercise can reduce the risk of stroke, cancers and heart disease.