How Your Hometown Influences Your Stroke Risk

Most cases of stroke are ischemic stroke, which is caused by a blood clot that limits blood flow to the brain. In many of these cases, blood clots may have been preventable with healthier lifestyle choices and proper preventive medical care. While anyone can make healthy decisions that will be helpful in reducing stroke risk, your environment will be a strong influence on your healthcare and lifestyle choices. In fact, there is a strong link between where an individual grew up and the likelihood of that person having a stroke. This article will take a closer look at what your hometown might determine in terms of your stroke risk along with how your current residence is a factor in the quality of your care .

Environment and stroke risk

If you live in an area that is not easy to walk around or does not offer many public parks, you might get less exercise throughout your day. Sedentary lifestyles are highly linked to stroke, since exercise is a necessity for maintaining a healthy blood pressure and controlling blood cholesterol. Regional cuisine may also be a factor in stroke risk, especially when there is an emphasis on fatty or highly processed foods.

Early influences on your health

Interestingly, the area where you grew up may be more influential on your health than your current location, especially if you grew up in the south. The Southeastern United States has often been referred to as the “Stroke Belt,” because people who spent their teenage years here have a 17% higher stroke risk on average. This is likely attributable to the characteristically unhealthy food and lack of public recreational facilities in the area.

Differences in regional stroke care

When it comes to stroke care, the place you live now will be a big determiner in your chances of stroke survival. Recently, research in hospital markets throughout the country revealed that there are inconsistencies in emergency stroke care, specifically in the use of clot-busting drugs that can quickly restore blood flow to the brain. Fortunately, California is in the top-ranking markets for the use of these medications, but about 20 percent of hospital markets are falling behind.

At Regional Medical Center of San Jose, we provide exceptional care through our Comprehensive Stroke Center , which has an Advanced Certification from the Joint Commission and American Heart Association. To learn more about our higher standards of stroke care, visit our website or give us a call at (888) 762-8881 today.

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