One of the most interesting things about atrial fibrillation is how geography—the location where you grew up, where you live now, and even where you visit—can affect your risk of atrial fibrillation and stroke.
A fascinating map from the CDC (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) dramatically illustrates which parts of the country had the highest rates of atrial fibrillation hospitalizations between 2000 and 2006. But that map’s “hot-spots” don’t exactly match the states known as the “Stroke Belt” and “Stroke Buckle” where stroke rates are highest. Why? What could be responsible for that?
Could it be related to environmental influences, such as steel mills, coal mines, or oil refining? Or could it be related to inflammation or molds? What are the factors related to the unusual patterns of hospitalizations and strokes? What are the geographic influences in your afib?