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Number of fast-food restaurants associated with stroke risk

Researchers at the University of Michigan have found that the risk of stroke increases with the number of fast-food restaurants in a neighborhood.In the study, residents of neighborhoods with the highest number of fast-food restaurants had a 13 percent higher relative risk of suffering ischemic strokes than those living in areas with the lowest number of restaurants. The relative risk of stroke increased 1 percent for each fast food restaurant in a neighborhood.What’s not known at this time is whether the presence of fast-food restaurants causes the increased risk of stroke—or if they are simply markers of unhealthy neighborhoods.The stroke risk association emerged from data gathered in the ongoing Brain Attack Surveillance in Corpus, Christi (BASIC) project which has identified strokes occurring in Nueces County, Texas, since Jan. 1, 2000. The report examined 1,247 ischemic strokes that occurred from the study’s start through June 2003.

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