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Heart disease, stroke worldwide linked to national income


Narrator:       This is Science Today. Heart disease and stroke worldwide is tied closely to national income. Those were the findings of a study that analyzed heart disease and stroke statistics collected in 192 countries by the World Health Organization. Neurologist Anthony Kim of the University of California, San Francisco, who co-led the study, says they found that developing countries tend to suffer more death and disability by stroke than heart disease, which is opposite the situation in the United States and other countries with higher national incomes.

Kim:   We couldn't necessarily say whether this was due to lack of resources, but there could be other factors at play. There could be environmental, genetic factors, there could be the distribution of these various risk factors in individual countries could vary as well. So, you might have a country like China that has a very large rural-urban split and that distribution isn't picked up by a single summary measure for the whole country.

Narrator:       But these findings may help health officials design interventions that would cater to the needs of developing countries. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.