CDC Reports Progress In Reducing Strokes Has Stalled Interview with:

Quanhe Yang, PhD Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion CDC

Dr. Yang

Quanhe Yang, PhD
Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
CDC What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The prominent decline in U.S. stroke death rates observed for more than 4 decades has slowed in recent years. CDC examined trends and patterns in recent stroke death rates among U.S. adults aged ≥ 35 years by age, sex, race/ethnicity, state, and census region.

Declines in stroke death rates have slowed down in 3 out of every 4 states from 2000 to 2015, and the stroke death rates increased significantly in southern states and among Hispanics from 2013 to 2015.

An estimated 30,000 excess stroke deaths might have occurred because of the unfavorable changes in the rate of decline in stroke mortality during 2013–2015. What should readers take away from your report?

Response:  This report is a wake-up call. Up to 80% of stroke are preventable. Now more than ever, we need to redouble our efforts to reduce risk factors for stroke and improve the quality of stroke care.

Everyone can play a role in reducing stroke risk and preventing stroke death by having a healthy life style, better management of risk factors, and knowing the stroke signs.

Reducing risk for stroke:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Eating a healthy diet low in salt and added sugar and more fruits and vegetables
  • Being physically active
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Control blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Manage other medical conditions, such as obesity and diabetes

Preventing stroke deaths:

It is important for everyone to know the signs of stroke. By knowing the signs of stroke, every American can help save lives. When stroke happens, minutes count.

Remember, F.A.S.T.

  • F– FACE – Ask the person to smile. Does one side droop?
  • A – ARMS – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downwards?
  • S – SPEECH – Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred?
  • T – TIME – If the person shows any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately – and make sure an ambulance or EMT drives them directly to the hospital for immediate care. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Reasons for the stalled progress in stroke death rates are not clear. A number of factors could be contributing to this.  Further research is need to clarify the reasons for the stalled progress.

No disclosures Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Yang Q, Tong X, Schieb L, et al. Vital Signs: Recent Trends in Stroke Death Rates — United States, 2000–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:933–939. DOI:

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.






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