According to findings from a study recently revealed at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference, fast food is linked to higher rates of stroke. According to the study, areas where there were more fast food restaurants had higher rates of stroke than areas with lower concentrations. In fact, the most dense fast food area in the study showed a 13% higher risk. Lewis B. Morgenstern, M.D., of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, commenting, said, “Where we live and where our kids go to school has a profound effect on our health.” The following is an excerpt of an article from Medpage Today that discusses the issue more:
Although it’s tempting to blame fast food, Brian Silver, M.D., of Henry Ford Hospital in East Lansing, Mich., who was not involved in the study, agreed that fast food might be just another marker for community risk factors.
He also said it’s important to put the modest risk in perspective. “It’s not as important as blood pressure or atrial fibrillation, but if you’re trying to look for all potentially modifiable risk factors, this may be one more thing.”
The analysis was part of the larger ecological Brain Attack Surveillance in Corpus Christi (BASIC) study, which has looked at a wide range of correlates of stroke in Nueces County, Texas.
Active and passive surveillance identified 1,247 ischemic strokes in county residents from January 2000 through June 2003.
When each case was linked to the census tract of residence, the researchers found a significant association (P=0.02) with the number of nearby fast-food restaurants — defined as having two or more of the following characteristics: expedited service, limited wait staff, takeout business, and payment before being served.