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County Level Maps on Stroke Hospitalization Rates

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CDC:County Level Reports on Stroke Hospitalizations
According to a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the highest rate of stroke hospitalizations among Medicare beneficiaries exists among African-Americans and in counties located primarily in the southeastern states,.

The report, reveals that a significant number of Medicare beneficiaries live in counties that have no access to care or inadequate choices for emergency health care when they suffer a stroke.

The atlas provides county-level maps of stroke hospitalizations for African-Americans, Hispanics, and whites ages 65 and older.

The report found that the stroke hospitalization rate for African-Americans was 27 percent higher than for the United States population in general, 30 percent higher than for whites, and 36 percent higher than for Hispanics.

The atlas illustrates that approximately 21 percent of counties did not have a hospital at all, 31 percent lacked a hospital with an emergency department, and 77 percent did not have a hospital with neurology services.

For all types of strokes, including those caused by a blockage to a blood vessel in the brain, and those caused by a ruptured blood vessel, the maps show that counties with the highest rates are located primarily in the southeastern states (including Alabama and Louisiana). Among people hospitalized for stroke, Medicare beneficiaries in the southeastern states were also most likely to be diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes-both risk factors for stroke.

Copies of the atlas are available free from the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, N.E., Mail Stop K-47, Atlanta, Georgia 30341-3724 or by calling 1-888-232-2306. An interactive version of the atlas is available at To download sections of the atlas, visit

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