Arkansas Leading the Nation in Stroke Deaths

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A task force looking for ways to reduce the death rate from strokes in Arkansas is studying the possibility of creating a statewide videoconferencing system that would link doctors in rural hospitals with specialists in larger cities.

Arkansas has the highest rate of stroke deaths in the United States.  Each year about 2,000 Arkansans have a fatal stroke.

Barbara Kumpe of the Arkansas Acute Stroke Care Task Force says the group's work has just begun.  She expects the effort to continue for several years, until the state has a strong system of stroke care.

Besides Arkansas, the states with the highest death rates from stroke are South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina.  The states with the lowest are New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Delaware.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)