Here’s a sobering thought: Just living in Alabama—which is part of the nation’s Stroke Belt—makes a person more likely to have a stroke, and growing up there doubles the risk. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the state.
In cooperation with the Alabama Department of Public Health, AARP is urging residents to reduce risk factors such as high blood pressure. Nearly 62 percent of Alabamians 50-plus have hypertension, and the traditional Southern diet of fried foods and salty greens may be to blame. Small changes in diet, exercise and weight loss can make a difference.
For more information, go to adph.org/cvh and click on 2010 Burden of Heart Disease and Stroke.