June 18, 2010 - A Canadian-led study suggests about 90 percent of the risk of having a stroke is preventable through lifestyle changes.
PAPER: Risk factors for ischaemic and intracerebral haemorrhagic stroke in 22 countries (the INTERSTROKE study): a case-control study, Dr Martin J O'Donnell et al., The Lancet, Early Online Publication, 18 June 2010, ABSTRACT..
Dr. Martin J. O'Donnell and Dr. Salim Yusuf of McMaster University in Hamilton and colleagues analyzed data from 3,000 stroke patients and 3,000 controls without stroke of the same age and gender in 22 developed and developing countries from March 2007 to April 2010.
The contribution of various risk factors to the burden of stroke worldwide is unknown, particularly in countries of low and middle income. The authors aimed to establish the association of known and emerging risk factors with stroke and its primary subtypes, assess the contribution of these risk factors to the burden of stroke, and explore the differences between risk factors for stroke and myocardial infarction [heart attack].
"Our findings suggest that 10 risk factors are associated with 90 percent of the risk of stroke," the study's authors concluded. "Targeted interventions that reduce blood pressure and smoking, and promote physical activity and a healthy diet, could substantially reduce the burden of stroke," the study added.
High blood pressure was the most important for stroke, increasing the risk by 2.64 times, compared with having no history of hypertension.
10 stroke risk factors
* High blood pressure.
* Waist-to-hip ratio or abdominal obesity.
* Physical activity.
* Lipids or fats.
* Type 2 diabetes.
* Alcohol intake.
* Stress and depression.
* Heart disorders.
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Reference: Nearly all stroke risk preventable: study, CBC News, 6/18/2010.