Report: Asians and College Grads Less Likely to Get Stroke


ATLANTA - Stroke prevalence varies widely from state to state, and group to group with some states and groups having more than double the stroke prevalence of others, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  The report, titled "Prevalence of Stroke - United States, 2005" was published in CDC´s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious long-term disability," said Jonathan Neyer, the study's lead author. "These findings reaffirm the importance and need for people to take steps to reduce their risk of stroke. Avoiding tobacco use, being physically active, and maintaining healthy weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels are steps everyone can take to lower their risk."

A stroke occurs when either the blood supply to part of the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, causing damage to a part of the brain.

About 700,000 strokes occur in the United States each year. About 500,000 of these are first or new strokes. About 200,000 occur in people who have already had a stroke. Over 160,000 people die each year from stroke in the United States.

Nearly one out of four states, including the District of Columbia, had a high stroke prevalence of 3 percent and above. These include Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.

The lowest levels of stroke prevalence (less than the median of 2.6 percent) were found in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The prevalence of stroke was similar among men (2.7 percent) and women (2.5 percent). American Indian/Alaska Natives had the highest stroke prevalence (6 percent), while the prevalence of stroke in blacks (4.0 percent) was almost twice that of whites (2.3 percent), with Asians having the lowest rate (1.6 percent). Stroke prevalence was more than twice as high in individuals with fewer than 12 years of education (4.4 percent) compared to college graduates (1.8 percent).


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    Stan Kenyon
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