AUSTIN, Texas, May 17, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In observation of National Stroke Awareness Month in May, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is urging patients to get screened for stroke risk factors. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of severe disability; however, many people are unaware of the signs and symptoms of a stroke.
Although stroke threatens millions of lives and can have devastating effects on victims and their families, more than 80 percent of strokes can be prevented. According to the American Stroke Association, high blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke, with 75 percent of stroke victims suffering from the condition. While some risk factors cannot be prevented or controlled, other risk factors, including obesity and diabetes, can be offset or mitigated through diet, exercise and risk factor screening.
"Nurse practitioners (NPs) serve on the front lines of primary care and are proactively counseling their patients to prevent stroke while developing and overseeing health plans for at-risk patients. With a focus on patient-centered care, we can reduce the number of stroke victims," said Cindy Cooke, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP, AANP president.
Stroke risk factors can be easily detected and diagnosed through routine checkups with a primary care provider, often a nurse practitioner. These health care professionals can recognize and treat the conditions that lead to stroke risk through medication and recommended courses of action.
"On average, one person dies from stroke every four minutes. Our goal is to send a clear signal that these events can be prevented through a few specific, impactful actions," said Janet Wright, M.D., F.A.C.C., executive director of Million Hearts®. A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services initiative, Million Hearts® aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. AANP has partnered with Million Hearts® on improving the nation's cardiovascular health for the past four years.
"We are thrilled that AANP and NPs around the country are focusing on stroke awareness and prevention this month," Dr. Wright added. "Stroke kills over 130,000 people in the U.S. each year, and AANP plays a crucial role in reducing the nation's stroke burden."
American Association of Nurse Practitioners
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. It represents the interests of more than 205,000 NPs, including more than 68,000 individual members and 200 organizations, providing a unified networking platform and advocating for their role as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered and personalized health care. The organization provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education and research; and establishing standards that best serve NP patients and other health care consumers. For more information, visit www.aanp.org. To locate a nurse practitioner in your area, visit www.npfinder.com.
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SOURCE American Association of Nurse Practitioners