Abstract TP178: Walk Score and Risk of Ischemic Stroke Among Town Residents
BACKGROUND: Regular physical activities, including light-to-moderate activities, such as walking, have well-established benefits for reducing the risk of ischemic stroke. It remains unknown whether certain area characteristics can influence the risk of stroke through promoting such activities.
OBJECTIVES: We tested the hypothesis that how walkable an area is will be negatively associated with the risk of ischemic stroke in persons residing in the area.
METHODS: We calculated the age- adjusted annual incidence rates of ischemic stroke among residents in each of the 63 cities in Minnesota between 2007 and 2011. The walk score, an online database, provides a numerical walkability score for any location within the United States, ranging between 0 and 100 that is computed by using exclusive algorithms. The route to amenities is sorted into nine different categories: grocery, restaurants, shopping, coffee, banks, parks, schools, books, and entertainment, which are weighed according to their prominence.
RESULTS: There are 2,901,389 persons residing in 63 cities in Minnesota (average population per town is 46053). The average walk score of the 63 towns in Minnesota was 37, ranging from 14 to 69. The average median age of residents was similar in tertiles of towns based on walk score as follows: ≤25 (n=9) 36 years; 26-50(n=46) 36 years; and 51-100(n=8) 34 years. The age adjusted incidence of ischemic stroke was similar in tertiles of towns based on walk score as follows: ≤25 (n=9) 2157 per 100,000; 26-50(n=46) 1924 per 100,000; and 51-100(n=8) 2856 per 100,000 residents. The correlation between age adjusted ischemic stroke incidence and walk score was low (R2=0.32) within Minnesota.
CONCLUSIONS: The ready availability of indices such as walk score makes it an attractive option but currently such indices lack the sensitivity to measure the magnitude and health benefits of light-to-moderate activities performed within a town.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.