May 20, 2022: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed six Connecticut Counties in the High/Orange category as part of its COVID-19 Community Levels Map. Only Fairfield and Tolland Counties are listed in the Medium/Yellow category. Residents in these counties should wear a mask indoors in public; stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if they have symptoms. Additional precautions may be needed for residents who are at high risk for severe illness. Visit the CDC COVID-19 Community Levels Map for updates.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE             For further information contact:

American Heart Association                                 Robert Townes

                                                                          Senior Regional Director, Communications




Wallingford, CT, April 14, 2008 May is American Stroke Month.  Stroke Month should serve as a reminder that no one is immune to stroke.  It does not matter if you are young or old, male or female.  Stroke does not discriminate.  It doesn’t care what your racial or ethnic background is.  Stroke touches us all.  However, some of us carry a greater stroke burden.  Stroke disproportionately impacts people from communities of color.  African-Americans are at a higher risk for stroke compared to other racial or ethnic groups.  Compared to Caucasians, African-Americans have almost twice the risk of first ever stroke.  Despite these alarming facts, stroke is not inevitable.  We all hold within us the power to end stroke.  On Wednesday, April 16th, the American Stroke Association, in conjunction with the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Connecticut African-American Affairs Commission, will address health disparities and the status of Stroke at a Stroke Update reception at the State Capitol in Hartford from 5 pm to 7 pm.


The Power To End Stroke is the American Stroke Association’s aggressive education and awareness campaign to reach African-Americans and other communities of color.  The April 16th event at the State Capitol will feature a special presentation of stroke awareness and prevention messages from Sen. Toni Harp (D-10), who will talk about the Power To End Stroke education campaign.  Department of Public Health Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., and African-American Affairs Commission Commissioner Glenn A. Cassis will also be in attendance.


The American Stroke Association will also be promoting its annual Stroke Alert! campaign.  From May 16th to May 23rd, free Stroke risk assessment screenings will be available to the public at select locations throughout Connecticut.  Stroke Alert!  risk assessments will educate the public about stroke, its warning signs and risk factors, and preventive steps to minimize a person’s risk of stroke.  Call 1-888-4-STROKE (1-888-478-7653) to find a Stroke Alert!  screening location near you.  During American Stroke Month, the American Stroke Association emphasizes “Time Lost is Brain Lost.  Know the Warning Signs and Don’t Delay.  Call 9-1-1 Immediately!  Stroke is a Medical Emergency.”


A major point of emphasis of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is to address some of the racial and ethnic disparities in cardiovascular disease awareness and incidence.  Through its faith-based Search Your Heat initiative, the American Heart Association is working to raise the awareness of cardiovascular disease risk factors in people of African descent and to encourage people in these communities of color to make lasting, healthy lifestyle changes.


DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin stated that “Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Connecticut and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability.  More than 100,000 African-Americans have a new or recurrent stroke every year.  Not only are African-Americans more likely to experience a stroke, but these strokes tend to strike at an earlier age and be more severe.  The data shows that African-Americans do have higher stroke death rates than whites.”


For several decades, African-Americans, Hispanics and Latinos have been plagued with health issues due to a variety of factors, including heredity.  High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke.  The prevalence of high blood pressure in African-Americans is the highest in the world.  In Connecticut, more than 26 percent of African-American adults have high blood pressure.  Nearly 90 percent of African-American adults and 87 percent of Hispanic/Latino adults are physically inactive.  More than 70 percent of African-American adults are overweight, while 31 percent are obese.  Diabetes is a significant risk factor for stroke, particularly in women.  The risk for diabetes for African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos is almost twice that for Caucasians.  Nearly 36 percent of African-American adults in Connecticut display 3 or more risk factors for heart disease and stroke.


African-Americans, Hispanics and Latinos tend to be less aware of stroke’s warning signs and risk factors.  In fact, a recent American Stroke Association survey showed that a substantial number of African Americans are not making the connection that their ethnicity and family’s history increase their stroke risk.  While 70 percent of African-Americans think they are knowledgeable about stroke, only 30 percent correctly defined stroke, less than half knew stroke symptoms and only 43 percent knew that being African-American put them at a greater risk for stroke.


The time to act is now.  Though certain risk factors are more prevalent in these communities of color, many can be controlled through lifestyle changes.  By controlling high blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels, quitting smoking, staying physically active, maintaining a healthy weight and controlling diabetes, one’s stroke risk can be reduced.  Through the Power to End Stroke movement, the American Stroke Association looks help people from these communities of color to not just “survive,” but “thrive!”  By knowing the facts about stroke, reducing your personal stroke risk, recognizing the warning signs of stroke, responding quickly when your recognize those warning signs of stroke, you can unleash your Power to End Stroke. 


It’s never too late to take action against stroke.  To take the American Stroke Association’s Stroke Pledge, to get more information about the organization or to join the Power to End Stroke movement to fight against stroke in our communities of color, please call 1-888-4 STROKE or visit  You have the Power to End Stroke!


The Power to End Stroke

Power to End Stroke is the American Stroke Association’s aggressive education and awareness initiative targeting African-Americans.  Through the campaign, the Association will address health disparities related to stroke and African-Americans and reinforce the message that in many cases, stroke may be preventable.  The Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-aventis partnership is the national campaign sponsor.


About the American Stroke Association

The goal of the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, is to reduce disability and death from stroke through research, education and advocacy.  In 2006-07, fiscal year, the association invested more than $152 million on stroke.


About the American Heart Association

Since 1924 the American Heart Association has helped protect people of all ages and ethnicities from the ravages of heart disease and stroke.  These diseases, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers, claim more than 870,000 American lives a year.  The association invested more than $554 million in fiscal year 2006–07 for research, professional and public education, advocacy and community service programs so people across America can live stronger, longer lives.  The American Heart Association serves Connecticut’s eight counties and population of more than 3.5 million people.  The American Heart Association is a proud member of Community Health Charities of New England.