Nav: Home

Higher dementia risk associated with birth in high stroke mortality states

July 31, 2017

Is being born in states with high stroke mortality associated with dementia risk in a group of individuals who eventually all lived outside those states?

A new article published by JAMA Neurology reports the results of a study that examined that question in a group of 7,423 members of the integrated health care delivery system Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

A band of states in the southern United States is known as the Stroke Belt because living there has been associated with increased risk of a number of conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and cognitive impairment.

Rachel A. Whitmer, Ph.D., of Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, Calif., and coauthors examined whether birthplace in a high stroke mortality state was associated with increased dementia risk in a group of individuals later living in Northern California with equal access to medical care. The nine states considered high stroke mortality states were Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, South Carolina and West Virginia, many of which are part of what is commonly considered the Stroke Belt.

Of the 7,423 people included in the analysis, 4,049 were women (54.5 percent) and 1,354 were black (18.2 percent). Being born in high stroke mortality states was more common among black participants.

Dementia was diagnosed in 2,254 of the participants (30.4 percent) and was more common among those born in high stroke mortality states (455 [39.0 percent]) than those not born in those states (1,799 [28.8 percent]).

Overall, birth in a high stroke mortality state was associated with an increased dementia risk in estimates measuring both absolute and relative risk. Individuals who were black and born in high stroke mortality states had the highest risk for dementia compared with those individuals who were not black and not born in high stroke mortality states, according to the results. Cumulative 20-year dementia risks (a measure of absolute risk) at age 65 were 30.13 percent for those people born in high stroke mortality states and 21.8 percent for those people not born in those states.

The study has limitations, including that authors did not have complete residential history and could not determine how long the people, who had eventually migrated to California, lived in high stroke mortality states. Therefore, authors cannot disentangle whether cumulative or longer time of residence was worse or whether the effect of birthplace varies by age at which they left high stroke mortality states.

"Place of birth has enduring consequences for dementia risk and may be a major contributor to racial disparities in dementia," the article concludes.
-end-
For more details and to read the full study, please visit the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.1553)

Editor's Note: The article contains funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

The JAMA Network Journals

Related Dementia Articles:

Flies the key to studying the causes of dementia
A research team from the University of Plymouth, University of Southampton and the Alexander Fleming Biomedical Sciences Research Center, Vari, Greece, have studied two structurally-similar proteins in the adult brain and have found that they play distinct roles in the development of dementia.
Stroke prevention may also reduce dementia
Ontario's stroke prevention strategy appears to have had an unexpected, beneficial side effect: a reduction also in the incidence of dementia among older seniors.
Dementia: The right to rehabilitation
Rehabilitation is important for people with dementia as it is for people with physical disabilities, according to a leading dementia expert.
One in 4 elderly Australian women have dementia
At least a quarter of Australian women over 70 will develop dementia according to University of Queensland researchers.
Rural dementia -- we need to talk
Research carried out by Plymouth University into the experience of dementia in farming and farming families, and its impact on their businesses and home lives, has identified four areas of concern which need to be addressed if dementia in the countryside is to be managed.
More Dementia News and Dementia Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...