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93% of U.S., 92% of New Yorkers Unaware that Stroke is Second Leading Cause of Death Globally

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Despite its being the second leading cause of death worldwide, 93% of Americans still do not recognize the global threat stroke poses and the warning signs associated with it, according to a new public opinion study sponsored by Covidien and the World Stroke Organization (WSO).

The survey measured awareness of strokes and stroke prevention both among adults aged 18 and older in the United States and New York City specifically. Its findings indicate that at least half of the respondents (56 percent in the U.S. and 50 percent in New York City) have had, or have a family member or friend, who has had a stroke. And while two-thirds of respondents say they are knowledgeable about stroke, only a small percentage (12 percent in New York City and 17 percent nationally) realize women are more likely than men to experience a stroke.

“Stroke claims a life every six seconds across the globe, so it is critical we underscore the risk and the steps people can take to prevent a stroke,” said Dr. Mark Turco, chief medical officer, Vascular Therapies, Covidien. “Stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide and the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Everyone can be powerful in saving a life if they know what to do. These survey results identify a significant – but addressable – gap in knowledge when it comes to stroke awareness.”

Additional findings of the survey include:

  • Knowledge about risk factors is generally low: While nationally, about 1 in 3 people know smoking and high blood pressure are risk factors for stroke, fewer than 1 in 10 know diabetes and poor circulation are risk factors.
  • Knowledge of warning signs and symptoms of a stroke are similarly low: About 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. recognize slurred speech and 1 in 4 can identify facial numbness or drooping as warning signs and symptoms, but fewer than 1 in 10 are aware that vision issues (8 percent), confusion (6 percent) or balance/coordination issues (4 percent) may also signal a stroke.
  • Preventative care is limited: Almost half (48 percent) of New Yorkers haven’t had their blood pressure checked in the last month, compared with 46 percent nationally.

Covidien is collaborating with the WSO as a Platinum Sponsor of this year’s World Stroke Campaign. In addition to the survey, the company is highlighting its commitment to stroke patients and raising consumer awareness through a new global campaign launching on World Stroke Day, Oct. 29. The company’s “Take 2 … Tell 2″ campaign focuses on what can be achieved in just 2 minutes – having every person take 2 minutes to raise their awareness about stroke and then telling two people about those signs.

“More than 17 million people experience a stroke each year and 6 million of them do not survive,” added Dr. Turco. “Despite its impact, stroke is still not well understood, highlighting the need to give this condition a greater voice. Through our ‘Take 2 … Tell 2′ initiative, we’re focused on helping people understand the impact of stroke and educating them to prevent future strokes, which can potentially save lives.”

Participants across the globe are encouraged to visit to learn more about stroke and inspire others to do the same. Using the hashtag #take2forstroke, people can share their stroke-related story via video and photographs on their favorite social media sites.

The “Take 2 … Tell 2″ campaign will anchor Covidien-sponsored events held on World Stroke Day in four global markets: New York City, U.S.; S~ao Paulo, Brazil; Seoul, S. Korea and Dublin, Ireland. These events will include free blood pressure screenings, a photo booth where visitors can share their stories, celebrity guests and free healthy snacks.

In New York, Covidien will partner with Mount Sinai Hospital to provide free blood pressure screenings and other resources at Herald Square Park, located at 6th Avenue between 34th and 35th Streets, between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. EDT. Confirmed special guests include New York Metropolitan Opera singer and stroke survivor Eric Jordan, model and stroke survivor Claudia Mason, and “Real Housewives of New York” television personality Kristin Taekman.

“Stroke claims a life every six seconds, but it is still not well understood, highlighting the need to give this condition a greater voice,” said Dr. Stephan A. Mayer, founding director, Institute for Critical Care Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “The ‘Take 2 … Tell 2′ initiative is focused on helping people understand how many of their family and friends may be affected by stroke and educating them to prevent future strokes, which can potentially save lives.”

As the World Stroke Campaign lead sponsor, Covidien is supporting a range of global WSO initiatives to share educational materials and other awareness-focused information about stroke prevention and treatment. The campaign includes websites and a variety of supporting materials designed to drive greater awareness of stroke, risk factors, prevention and treatment options.

Research Method

This World Stroke Day Study was conducted within the New York City metropolitan area between Oct. 2 and 8, 2014, among 350 adults (aged 18 and over). In addition, for comparison purposes, 500 interviews among adults living in the United States were completed between Oct. 6 and 10, 2014. This online survey was sponsored by Covidien and conducted by APCO Insight, an international opinion research consultancy. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in an opt-in survey panel. The data have been weighted to reflect the demographic composition of adults in the New York City metropolitan area or United States as appropriate.

About Covidien

Covidien is a global health care leader that understands the challenges faced by providers and their patients and works to address them with innovative medical technology solutions and patient care products. Inspired by patients and caregivers, Covidien’s team of dedicated professionals is privileged to help save and improve lives around the world. With more than 38,000 employees, Covidien operates in 150-plus countries and had 2013 revenue of $10.2 billion. To learn more about our business visit or connect with us on Twitter.

About the World Stroke Organization

The World Stroke Organization (WSO) was established in October 2006. WSO’s mission is to reduce the global burden of stroke through prevention, treatment and long-term care. With individual and organizational members worldwide, including stroke support groups, WSO is the global voice for stroke. WSO is the only international stroke NGO in official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO). For more information, go to

About “Take 2 … Tell 2″

Take 2 … Tell 2 is a global stroke awareness campaign that focuses on the difference 2 minutes can make when it comes to stroke. Whether it’s taking the time to learn about prevention, testing, the warning signs or treatment, or sharing your story about stroke, everyone has 2 minutes to educate themselves or others about stroke. To share your stroke story and learn more about how you can Take 2 … Tell 2, visit

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