Stroke Mortality in Tennessee: An Eco-Epidemiologic Perspective

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Prevention of stroke mortality in Tennessee is a statewide public health priority. These analyses describe how the distribution of Caucasian stroke mortality is greater among the state's Appalachian Counties. For African-American residents, the elevated stroke mortality risk is not distinctive for geographic regions, although Upper East Tennessee rates are elevated. If the Caucasian criteria for assigning "high" rates were used with African-American stroke mortality data, the entire state would be designated as having elevated levels for stroke mortality. Race-gender specific analyses at the county-level (ecological attributes) illustrate the greater risks for "high" county-level stroke mortality rates are present for urban and poor communities in our state. African-American males are a clear exception, where the poorer, rural communities show a protective effect for "high" county-level stroke mortality rates. We support implementing stroke prevention programming and public health interventions based on the mortality data distributions; compatible statewide initiatives are underway We recommend strategic over-sampling of the state's priority populations for stroke risk to facilitate the monitoring of prevention and intervention program impacts over time.