Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Where were you born? If you're from the 'stroke belt,' you might be in danger

Geography if often a key health indicator. Now, a recent study shows that being born in the U.S. "stroke belt" is tied to higher risk of dementia:
For the current study, researchers examined data on 7,423 adults living in Northern California, including 1,166 people born in high stroke-mortality states - all but one in the South: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, South Carolina and West Virginia.
At age 65, the risk of developing dementia in the next 20 years was 30 percent for people born in these states, compared to 21 percent for those born elsewhere, the study found.
“We know that where someone was born can influence how likely they are to have a stroke,” said lead study author Paola Gilsanz of the University of California, San Francisco and the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research in Oakland.
“But as far as we know this is the first paper to look at the association between the place of birth and dementia,” Gilsanz said by email.
If you're from a stroke-risk state (I am), what do you do? One expert suggested that people check their blood pressure regularly and adopt healthy lifestyle habits like eating a low-salt diet and getting plenty of exercise.

1 comment:

Cate Wetherald said...

I moved out of the South in my mid-20s for many reasons, physical/mental health being at the top of the list, and have never regretted it.