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What Is the Stroke Belt?
The Stroke Belt reaches across the Southeast, from Virginia to Louisiana, and north to Indiana.
Credit: National Institutes of Health

More than 140,000 people die from a stroke every year in the United States, making it the third-leading cause of death in the country.

And while death from stroke occurs in every state, the lifestyles of people who live in the Stroke Belt may cause the greatest risk of stroke.

The Stroke Belt includes 11 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Some medical experts also include northern Florida and parts of East Texas in the Stroke Belt.

Studies have found that those born and raised in this wide swath of the United States are 34 percent more likely to die of stroke than their peers in other states.

Researchers believe that greater-than-average rates of obesity, cigarette smoking and high blood pressure account for the increased risk of death from stroke for those living in the Stroke Belt.

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