FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE               Connecticut Department of Public Health

October 28, 2009                                        Contact:  William Gerrish

                                                                    (860) 509-7270


Stroke is the nation’s third leading cause of death


Hartford - The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) and many of its partners, including the Connecticut Division of the American Heart Association (AHA), will observe World Stroke Day on October 29, 2009.  The theme for the World Stroke Day 2009 is “Stroke – What Can I Do?”  This question suggests that everyone can do something about stroke.


“Stroke is the most common neurological emergency,” stated DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin.  “It is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and a leading cause of disability.”


The World Stroke Day theme supports individuals, groups, and governments to take action against stroke.  People can learn their risk for stroke, the symptoms of stroke, and they can help the stroke cause in many other roles:  as a physician, a nurse, a healthcare professional, a patient, a caregiver, a donor, a business person, a citizen, a member of a voluntary organization, a policymaker, a member of government, etc.


Stroke is caused by a clot or blockage within an artery leading to the brain, or the sudden rupture of an artery within the brain.  Risk factors for stroke include advanced age, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking; and prior history of stroke.  For each minute that passes after a stroke, roughly two million brain cells die, and every second decreases the stroke sufferer’s chance to return to normal function. 


If you think anyone in your family is at risk for a stroke, check with your healthcare provider.  The Department of Public Health, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program released the “Connecticut Comprehensive Plan for Stroke Prevention and Care 2009-2013,” on August 21, 2009.  To learn more about this plan, visit the DPH website at and click “Programs and Services,” then “Stroke Prevention.”


The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state.  To contact the department, please visit its website at  or call (860) 509-7270.