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Stroke awareness campaign opens

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ATLANTA, Jun 16, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The National Stroke Association is starting a new, multi-year national stroke awareness campaign.

The group says strokes often hit people so quickly, there's little time to react unless you recognize the symptoms.

Every year 750,000 Americans suffer a stroke. But the association says as many as 80 percent of strokes are preventable.

The education campaign will focus especially on the southeastern United States, an area known as the "Stroke Belt" due to the number of stroke deaths that occur in that region.

This year's theme is "Ask Your Doctor -- Am I at Risk for Stroke?" The association encourages physicians and patients to discuss stroke more often. Studies show that African American males in Georgia have a 60 percent higher chance of dying from stroke than do Caucasians.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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