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Monday, June 21, 2010

Modifiable factors in stroke risk

The INTERSTROKE study, an international study of stroke risk factors was recently published in the Lancet, and shows as you might have expected the modifiable risk factors which play the greatest role in stroke risk. The number one factor is high blood pressure, which can be reduced by reducing salt intake and exercising more, and if that doesn't work, taking medications to reduce blood pressure. Smoking, abdominal obesity (fat around the middle!), diet, and reduced physical activity were other factors which together with high blood pressure accounted for 80% of ischemic stroke risk (ischemic stroke means a stroke that happens because of a reduction of oxygen flow to the brain, usually due to a clot in a blood vessel), and 90% of the risk of having a hemorrhagic stroke (due to bleeding into the brain) in the study.
Additional risk factors for a clot-type stroke included diabetes, alcohol intake, psychosocial factors, the ratio of apolipoproteins B to A1, and other heart diseases (arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter, previous heart attack, and valve disease). Hypertension, smoking, abdominal obesity, diet, and alcohol intake were the most important risk factors for a stroke due to bleeding into the brain. '

Anything new here? No! But it's interesting to note that these results were the same all around the world.

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