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UAB researchers found that death due to cardiovascular causes in the Southeastern U.S. is 16 percent higher than in the rest of the country, and an estimated 101,953 additional deaths need to be prevented by 2025 to bridge this gap.

A recent study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham shows the cluster of states that make up the stroke belt in the Southeastern United States has a 16 percent higher death rate due to cardiovascular causes compared to the rest of the country. The researchers project that this rate will continue in the coming decade unless more than 100,000 cardiac deaths are prevented in the region.

“Through this study, we wanted to understand the current state of cardiovascular deaths in the stroke belt and compare it to the rest of the U.S.,” said Vibhu Parcha, M.D., a clinical research fellow in the UAB Division of Cardiovascular Disease and the first author of this study. “We also wanted to see how these death rates were going to change in the coming years.” 

The 11 states in the stroke belt are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. 

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