Where You Live Affects Likelihood, Survival of Stroke, CDC Reports

A new study published in Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report, the essential CDC resource, shows stroke prevalence varies considerably from state to state. Some states have twice the prevalence of other states. "Prevalence of Stroke -- United States, 2005" provides the first data on the percentage of stroke survivors in all 50 states.

"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 and an epidemiologist in CDC's Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. "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."

About 700,000 strokes occur in the United States each year, and 160,000 people die each year from strokes. States with high prevalence were Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. States with the lowest levels of stroke prevalence (less than the median of 2.6 percent) were Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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