Friday, May 01, 2009

Fast food restaurants - a stroke risk factor

You've seen the neighborhoods - no grocery store of any size or at all, but a plethora of fast food restaurants.

In your gut, you know that can't be good. Now, there's some documentation to back up that feeling. Not long ago, some research linked that pattern with stroke risk:

Researchers zeroed in on a region of Texas, analyzed neighborhoods for the number of fast food restaurants, and found a 13% elevated risk of ischemic stroke in neighborhoods with the highest number of fast food restaurants. Ischemic strokes are caused by blood clots.

For every fast food restaurant in a designated neighborhood, the relative stroke risk increased 1%, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2009.

“The data show a true association,” says Lewis B. Morgenstern, MD, director of the University of Michigan’s stroke program and lead author of the study. “What we don’t know is whether fast food actually increased the risk because of its contents or whether fast food restaurants are a marker of unhealthy neighborhoods.”
An issue to consider during May, which is Stroke Awareness Month.

(Image from USDA)

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