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Once a Stroke Belt inhabitant, always -- in a way -- a Stroke Belt inhabitant

November 30, 2009 |  6:04 pm

StrokeWhen it comes to stroke risk, living in the Stroke Belt is one thing. Being born there is another. But both contribute to the risk of dying from a stroke.

And if you're both born in the region -- generally, if not quite precisely, referred to as the South -- and you live there as an adult, you face an even higher risk. For many whom I know and love, this does not bode well....

The grim assessment is from researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. They've been analyzing stroke mortality rates for people born and living in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama. (Here's a similar assessment from an earlier analysis.)

The new results are published in the Dec. 1 issue of Neurology. And before you go leaping to  conclusions -- whatever they may be -- we'll point out: Researchers are unclear on the reasons behind the increased risk.

Here's the abstract and an article on the study from MedPage Today.

For more on the Stroke Belt, there's the Atlas of Stroke Mortality: Racial, Ethnic, and Geographic Disparities in the United States.

And here's more on stroke prevention from the National Stroke Assn.

If you're from the South, please pay special attention.

-- Tami Dennis

Photo: The brain of a stroke patient, as shown in a diffusion MR scan. Credit: Associated Press