UF Researchers Develop Risk Score to Predict Deaths From Heart Attacks, Stroke in Every U.S. County (UF Health Newsroom)

UF Researchers Develop Risk Score to Predict Deaths From Heart Attacks, Stroke in Every U.S. County

The COVID-19 crisis has reinforced the fact that racial, income and social inequalities play an important role in health and disease. The same is true for heart health. Factors such as poverty, a shortage of health care providers and food deserts can all contribute to increased risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.

Researchers at the University of Florida have created a score based on these and other factors — known as social determinants of health — that can predict with a high level of accuracy the number of deaths from heart attacks or strokes in every county in the U.S. Understanding which counties are at high risk allows health planners to target interventions for their residents.

The risk score’s creators, Young-Rock Hong, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Arch Mainous III, Ph.D., both faculty members in the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions, describe the tool’s development and validation in a paper published in the Annals of Family Medicine.

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