Maria Glymour (Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health)
03/14/2011, at noon in room 6050 ISR-Thompson.
Co-sponsored with the Survey Research Center
Stroke is the third leading cause of mortality in the US and a leading cause of major disability in adults. In this talk, I will review some evidence indicating that, although stroke is predominantly experienced by older adults, this outcome has roots in childhood. Childhood social disadvantage appears to induce a persistent elevation in stroke risk, although the mechanisms for these links are not well established. I will discuss the the puzzling evidence on stroke risk associated with birth in the southern US "stroke belt," as well as findings on childhood socioeconomic status. I posit that geographic patterns of stroke contribute to apparent racial disparities because of 20th century migration patterns. This possibility suggests important challenges in interpreting racial disparities in geographically localized studies.