The number of people being hospitalized after suffering a stroke has decreased, but not by much.
A new report from the National Center For Health Statistics finds the rate of hospitalization for stroke dropped about a half-percent between 1989 and 2009, but there is still some good news.
The report found more than two-thirds of the people hospitalized for stroke between 1989 and 2009 were age 65 and over.
But between 1999 and 2009 the stroke hospitalization rate dropped 20 percent or more in this age group.
In 1989, stroke patients averaged a 10-day hospital stay, but in 2009 that number was down to 5.
Researchers say despite the slight decline in the total number of stroke-related hospitalizations in 2009 there were still more than a million.
Experts say one of the keys to decreasing the rate even more is reaction time.
"Recognizing that these symptoms are not normal and that you just can't go back to bed and they'll be better in the morning. You have to go to a hospital and get them checked out is very important. And you never get dinged for going to a hospital and thinking you have a stroke too often. The real danger is not going early enough," said Cleveland Clinic stroke expert Dr. Javier Prevencio.
The full report can be found on the Centers For Disease Control's website at www.cdc.gov.