Proclamations, November 1, 1984

Proclamation 5275 -- National Alzheimer's Disease Month, 1984

November 1, 1984

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

The month of November is traditionally a time for families to come together and give thanks for their blessings. It is fitting that November also be designated as National Alzheimer's Disease Month to express our compassion for those who suffer from this heartbreaking disorder and our appreciation for the many families who devote themselves to the care of afflicted loved ones who no longer can help themselves.

Alzheimer's disease is the major cause of serious confusion and forgetfulness in old age. The death of brain cells, a mark of this devastating disease, at first causes erratic behavior and unusual memory lapses and ultimately results in the ``senility'' once thought to be a normal part of old age.

Experts estimate that some two million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease, including between five and ten percent of our population over 65 and 20 percent of those over 80. If present trends continue, anticipated increases could double the number of victims in these age groups by the turn of the century.

In addition to the unhappy victims, untold numbers of others suffer the physical, emotional and financial burdens of caring for relatives who are ill with this disease. Families care for their ill relatives at home, if possible, and later in nursing homes. Between one-third and one-half of all patients in those institutions suffer from Alzheimer's disease or another serious irreversible form of dementia.

The medical research community is focusing special attention on this disease, and research is beginning to reveal many of its mysteries. Thus, research is providing the affected families with a great deal of hope. Until a cure is found, however, these families need our support and understanding. Public awareness of their problems is growing, due to the work of voluntary health associations -- notably the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association -- but much remains to be done.

The Congress, by House Joint Resolution 451, has designated the month of November 1984 as ``National Alzheimer's Disease Month'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this month.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of November 1984 as National Alzheimer's Disease Month. Let us mark this month by striving to educate ourselves about Alzheimer's disease and by participating in appropriate activities and observances.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 3:57 p.m., November 1, 1984]

Proclamation 5276 -- National Blood Pressure Awareness Week, 1984

November 1, 1984

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

High blood pressure is a disease that affects as many as 60 million Americans and is a major factor in the 1.25 million heart attacks and half-million strokes every year in the United States. Heart attacks annually kill 500,000 Americans, and the economic cost to the Nation in direct medical costs, lost work days and lost production will soar into the tens of billions of dollars.

Unfortunate as these statistics are, there are many encouraging signs that we are making progress in controlling this disease. Death rates from heart attacks and stroke have been declining dramatically for more than a decade. From 1972 to 1982, for example, the death rate for heart attack dropped by 27 percent, and for stroke by 42 percent.

Often called the silent killer because it usually exhibits no symptoms, high blood pressure is an insidious condition that may lead to heart attack, stroke or kidney damage. Along with cigarette smoking and elevated blood cholesterol, it is one of three major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.

High blood pressure can be detected quickly and painlessly by use of an inflatable arm cuff and stethoscope. All Americans should take advantage of the high blood pressure screening activities in their communities, their work places and their public health facilities. Once detected, high blood pressure usually can be controlled very effectively. Weight loss, salt restrictions and exercise may be prescribed as possible remedies. When these do not work, a physician can select an appropriate treatment program from a wide range of drug therapies.

At least one of the factors responsible for the decline in death rates from heart attacks and strokes is enhanced awareness among the public and the medical profession of the dangers of high blood pressure and the steps that people can take to bring it under control. This growing awareness has been brought about largely through the efforts of the National High Blood Pressure Education Program, a coordinated program involving the Federal government, community volunteer organizations, medical associations, industry and labor, state and local public health agencies and many other groups. We must intensify our efforts to promote public understanding of the dangers of this prevalent condition and public knowledge that effective treatment methods are available.

To stimulate public awareness of the role high blood pressure plays in bringing about heart attacks and strokes and to encourage all Americans to check their blood pressure and obtain treatment if it is elevated, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 260, has designated the week beginning November 11, 1984, as ``National Blood Pressure Awareness Week'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning November 11, 1984, as National Blood Pressure Awareness Week. I invite all interested government agencies and officials and the American people to observe this occasion with appropriate observances.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 3:58 p.m., November 1, 1984]

Proclamation 5277 -- National Reye's Syndrome Week, 1984

November 1, 1984

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

Reye's Syndrome is a rare and often fatal illness that affects children under the age of 18 who are recovering from influenza or chicken pox. Reye's Syndrome can be deceptive, attacking just when it appears that the child is getting better. The symptoms -- which include mental confusion, persistent or continuous vomiting, loss of energy, sleepiness and belligerent behavior -- may develop quickly, sometimes within half a day. Immediate medical care is essential. If not treated promptly, a child suffering from Reye's Syndrome may go into coma and die.

The number of cases of Reye's Syndrome has dropped dramatically since continuous national surveillance was established by the Center for Disease Control in December 1976. This does not mean, however, that the public should become complacent about this illness. Although Reye's Syndrome is rare, it is life-threatening. About one-third of its victims do not survive.

Much remains to be learned about Reye's Syndrome, including what causes it and how it can be prevented. Voluntary organizations, such as the American Reye's Syndrome Association and the National Reye's Syndrome Foundation, have conducted educational campaigns to acquaint the public with this illness. Continued public education is essential so that parents and physicians can learn to recognize the symptoms of Reye's Syndrome and initiate treatment in its earliest stages.

To enhance public awareness of the gravity of Reye's Syndrome, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 259, has designated the week of November 12, 1984, through November 18, 1984, as ``National Reye's Syndrome Week'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of that week.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of November 12, 1984, through November 18, 1984, as National Reye's Syndrome Week, and I call upon the people of the United States to observe that week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 3:59 p.m., November 1, 1984]