Health habits during childhood and adolescence may play a crucial role in people's risk of stroke later in life, a new study finds.
People who lived in the region known as the "stroke belt" as children or teens had a higher risk of stroke even if they lived elsewhere during other periods in their lives compared with people who spent their childhoods or teen years elsewhere, according to the researchers. States in the Southeast U.S. comprise the stroke belt.
The findings suggest that "If we are going to prevent strokes in adults, waiting until the underlying risk factors — problems such as hypertension and diabetes — develop may be too late. We need to start in childhood," said study researcher Virginia Howard, a stroke epidemiologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health.
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