Stroke Study Bad News For Latinos

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 1:42pm

Survey finds Latino stroke victims are less likely to dial 911.

Latinos are less likely to call 911 at the first sign of a stroke, according to a new study.

A stroke could mean permanent paralysis, or in some cases, even death. Despite that fact researchers at UC San Diego said Latinos are risking their lives more than others, by not calling for help.

It could be the difference between a full recovery and something more devastating.

But according to researchers at UCSD, Latinos are less likely to call 911 at the first sign of a stroke.

Dr. Jeffrey Cavendish with Kaiser Permanente said you should call as soon as you start to feel weak.

Slurring speech, not being able to talk, not being able to find the right words garbled speech and loss of vision are just some the symptoms which happen during a stroke, when the brain muscles begin to die.

"So as soon as the blood flow can be reestablished to the brain the less impact the stroke is gonna be,” said Cavendish.

Unfortunately it's something researchers say Latinos are jeopardizing by not seeking immediate medical attention.

Cavendish said for some men it could be machismo, but for many others, it's the cost of care.

"They're hesitant to come to the hospital due cost of the ambulance due to the cost of therapies and potential for medications,” he said.

A factor Cavendish believes should not matter when it comes to your health.

"So I encourage and implore everybody if you think you're having a stroke to get in as soon as possible,” he said.

Researchers are still trying to determine what exactly triggers a stroke. But according to the study, Latino stroke patients were younger and in most cases women suffering from diabetes.

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