Navigation Links
Birth in South Raises Stroke Risk for Life

Death rate highest for lifelong residents of 'stroke belt,' study finds

MONDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- People born in the "stroke belt" of the southern United States have a lifelong higher risk of dying of stroke than others, even if they live elsewhere later, a new study shows.

Data on both black and white people born in the North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama show a consistently higher incidence of stroke compared to those born elsewhere, according to a report in the Dec. 1 issue of Neurology.

The higher stroke incidence in those seven states has been recognized for years, but why this is so, and why it persists, is not clear, said study author M. Maria Glymour, an assistant professor in the Harvard School of Public Health's division of society, human development and health.

"We think it's not genetic," Glymour said. "The hypotheses we have include the effect of social environment, what people eat and their access to medical care. There may be some element of socioeconomic risk."

Glymour and her collaborators used data from 1980, 1990 and 2000 U.S. national death records for people aged 30 to 80 who were born and lived in 49 states. They calculated stroke death rates by linking the data to U.S. census information.

What they found was that white people who were born and lived their adult lives in the stroke belt were 45 percent more likely to die of a stroke in the 1980 group, 29 percent more likely in the 1990 group and 34 percent more likely in the 2000 group than those who were born and lived outside the stroke belt. The figures were comparable for blacks: 55 percent, 47 percent and 34 percent higher risk for the respective groups.

Among whites who moved to the stroke belt as adults, the risk was 11 percent greater, according to the 2000 data, and 20 percent higher for those who were born in the stroke belt but later lived elsewhere.

The findings point out "the critical importance of early life exposures to lifelong health," said Dr. Mary Cushman, associate professor of medicine and pathology at the University of Vermont, lead author of a study published earlier this year that showed that conventional risk factors for stroke, such as obesity and diabetes, did not fully account for the regional differences.

"Other factors, such as genetic factors, environmental toxins and learned behavior [in youth, for example, from parents] could play a role," Cushman said.

The study had its weaknesses, she said, including "the inability to finely measure region of residence over lifespan and the reliance on administrative data for analysis."

"All we measured was where people were born," Glymour acknowledged. "But most people born in a state stay there at least through adolescence."

Still, the new study had a more solid base than earlier ones reporting the same association, Glymour said. One such study, which she led, had a much smaller sample and relied on self-reported stroke. "This one used strokes reported on death certificates and had national coverage," Glymour said.

More work is needed to determine why the stroke rate is higher in the South and to find ways to reduce the risk both regionally and nationally, she said.

"We think that understanding the causes of the phenomenon would be helpful in general to reduce stroke rates," Glymour said.

More information

For more information on stroke, see the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: M. Maria Glymour, Sc.D., assistant professor, society, human development and health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston; Mary Cushman, M.D., associate professor, medicine, University of Vermont, Burlington; Dec. 1, 2009, Neurology/i>


Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Another Reason Not to Smoke While Pregnant: Birth Defects
2. More than two-thirds of sexually active NYC youth use condoms, but other forms of birth control lag
3. Glades General Hospital First in Palm Beach County to Provide On-Site Electronic Birth Registration
4. Steroids Seem Safe for Babies at Risk of Early Birth
5. Many U.S. Women Unaware of Birth Defect Risks
6. Moms Low Cholesterol Tied to Preemie Births
7. IVF technique enables pregnancy without multiple births, Stanford researchers find
8. Fetal cell transplant could be a hidden link between childbirth and reduced risk of breast cancer
9. Sue Birth Control Companies for Your Health, Says American Life League
10. Maternal Mortality Declining in Middle-income Countries; Women Still Die in Pregnancy and Childbirth in Low-income Countries
11. UF researchers track genetic journey of HIV from birth to death
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... where preparing the perfect dish and pleasing the palates of attendees is of ... bringing a dish to a seasonal get-together, give these recipes a try this ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... NV (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dr. ... patients to learn more about hair loss treatment with the Capillus272™ Pro laser therapy ... effective solution for thicker and fuller hair, without the need for surgery, prescription pills, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... According to an article published November 10th by The ... as a breakthrough for performing hernia repairs. The article explains that the biggest advantage ... it can greatly reduce the pain that a patient might otherwise experience after a ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... for physicians and athletic programs, launches new Wimbledon Athletics Facebook page ... testing young athletes for unsuspected cardiac abnormalities. About 2,000 people under the age ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... SCOTTSDALE, AZ) - Today, Dr. ... both surgical and non-surgical treatments, announced the expansion of his private practice capabilities ... , Highly trained and nationally recognized for his natural approach, Dr. Todd ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... Nov. 26, 2015 Research and Markets ... the "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ... Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging ... --> --> This ... the Japanese therapeutic drug monitoring market, including emerging ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the  "2016 ... the Global Cell Surface Testing Market: ... report to their offering.  --> ... addition of the  "2016 Future Horizons ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... universitetssjukhus ser potential att använda SyMRI för ... för patienter med multipel skleros (MS) ... med SyntheticMR AB för att kunna använda ... sjukhuset. Med SyMRI kan man generera flera ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: