© 2004 Copyright Neurological Institute
Columbia University

Learn More about NOMAS

Background: Hispanics and Stroke

Stroke and coronary disease are two of the top three leading causes of death in the US. One of NOMAS’s most important missions is to increase the community’s awareness about the risk factors for stroke and what steps those at risk can take to prevent stroke from occurring. Risk factors include heart problems, hypertension, diabetes, family history of stroke or coronary disease, obesity, and smoking, to name several of the most serious risks.

Stroke affects blacks and Hispanics more than whites, regardless of socio-economic status. In addition, Hispanics are the most rapidly growing minority in this country. Caribbean Hispanics are one of the two major groups of Hispanics in the US. There are many Caribbean Hispanics, particularly with origins in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, living in the Northern Manhattan community. NOMAS aims to study stroke and raise awareness in the growing Hispanic population in Northern Manhattan.

Facts about stroke:

  • On average, someone in the United States has a stroke every 45 seconds.
  • Each year, about 700,000 people have a stroke (out of 4,700,000).
  • One of every 14 deaths is caused by stroke.
  • On average, every 3.1 minutes someone dies of a stroke.
Citation for above statistics
American Heart Association. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics — 2003 Update. Dallas, TX.: American Heart Association; 2002.

These risk factors include:

  • Heart problems
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of stroke or coronary disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Smoking
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Excessive alcohol consumption

Warning Symptoms of Stroke:

  • Sudden loss or change of speech
  • Sudden loss of vision
  • Sudden numbness or tingling on one side of the body
  • Sudden paralysis or weakness of the face, arm or leg
  • Sudden spells of dizziness or loss of balance

For more information about stroke:

Columbia University Stroke Division   ^top