Previously, the higher concentration of CVD risk factors in these states has been attributed to a large minority population and unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, such as poor diet and lack of exercise. Contrary to this belief, Clark’s research found higher than average levels of inflammation in the Southeast and Appalachia in a population of women who were chiefly Caucasian and who were employed in health care professions. The study findings are published in the journal PloS ONE.
“The increased risk of inflammation in the Southeast and Appalachia regions of the United States is not completely explained by race or lifestyle behaviors,” Clark said. “More research is needed to understand why risks for developing inflammation might be higher for women living in these places in the U.S.”