"It's interesting, but we don't know if it is causal," said Dr. Ralph Sacco, chairman of the department of neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and a spokesman for the American Stroke Association.
But the findings are plausible, said Dr. Dean Johnston, a clinical assistant professor of neurology at the University of British Columbia. "This suggests that diet and lifestyle factors are important for stroke prevention," he said. Fast food has been linked with obesity, and obesity increases stroke risk.
The bottom line for consumers? Anyone moving to a new locale should pay attention to the neighborhood, Morgenstern said, including the number of stores that sell fresh produce and the number of fast-food restaurants.
The American Stroke Association has more on stroke.
SOURCES: Lewis B. Morgenstern, M.D., professor, neurology and epidemiology, and director, stroke program, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Ralph Sacco, M.D., professor and chairman, department of neurology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Dean Johnson, M.D., clinical assistant professor, neurology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver; Feb. 19, 2009, presentation, International Stroke Conference, San Diego
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