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Bringing Stroke Awareness to the Hill


Today, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill to share the latest stroke data with congressional staff and to educate them about important research underway to better understand the human brain. 

Dr. Bruce Ovbiagele, professor and chairman of the Department of Neurology at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, presented the key findings from a new AHA/ASA study released today, including:

  • Almost 4 percent of U.S. adults — nearly one in 25 — will have a stroke. This translates into an additional 3.4 million people with stroke in 2030.
  • Costs to treat stroke may increase from $71.55 billion in 2010 to $183.13 billion.
  • Annual costs due to lost productivity could rise from $33.65 billion to $56.54 billion.
  • Americans currently 45-64 years old are expected to have the highest increase in stroke at 5.1 percent.
  • Stroke prevalence is projected to increase the most among Hispanic men between now and 2030, and the cost of treating stroke in Hispanic women is expected to triple.

Additionally, National Institutes of Health (NIH) leaders presented information about the recently-announced BRAIN Initiative, an ambitious new effort to map the human brain. Dr. Kathy Hudson, the  NIH’s Deputy Director for Science, Outreach, and Policy, and Dr. Story Landis, Director of the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, spoke about how the new tools being developed through the BRAIN Initiative can lead to a better understanding of how the brain works and advancements in how neurological conditions such as stroke, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease are treated.

The briefing was capped off by You’re the Cure advocate Jose’ Maldonado, was able to help bring the facts to life by sharing his story of surviving a stroke.  After suffering a stroke at the age of 46, Jose’ found himself having to learn to talk, walk, and read all over again.  But through his determination and the dedication of his family to his rehabilitation, Jose’ is now thriving.  He regularly counsels fellow stroke survivors, advocates with his lawmakers, and participates in clinical research trials.    

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