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Healthy diet and lifestyle and risk of stroke in a prospective cohort of women

November 7 2014

by Emily Ryan

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Here is another study looking at diet and lifestyle that reveals a very large risk reduction for stroke in women.
We have long under-estimated the sheer magnitude of the impact of a healthier lifestyle on not only cardiovascular disease but on a very wide range of diseases.

Larsson SC, Akesson A, Wolk A.

Neurology. 2014 Oct 8. pii: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000954. [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the association between a low-risk lifestyle and risk of stroke.

METHODS:

The study population comprised 31,696 women, in the population-based Swedish Mammography Cohort who at baseline had completed a questionnaire about diet and lifestyle and were free from cardiovascular disease and cancer. We defined a low-risk lifestyle as a healthy diet (top 50% of a Recommended Food Score), moderate alcohol consumption (5-15 g/d), never smoking, physically active (walking/bicycling ≥40 min/d and exercise ≥1 h/wk), and body mass index below 25 kg/m2. Stroke cases were identified from the Swedish National Patient Register and the Swedish Cause of Death Register.

RESULTS:

We ascertained 1,554 incident stroke cases, including 1,155 cerebral infarctions, 246 hemorrhagic strokes, and 153 unspecified strokes during 10.4 years of follow-up. The risk of stroke, in particular cerebral infarction, decreased steadily with increasing number of low-risk lifestyle factors. Compared with no low-risk factors, the multivariable relative risks (95% confidence interval) of cerebral infarction across increasing number of low-risk factors (1-5) were 0.72 (0.56-0.93), 0.67 (0.52-0.85), 0.57 (0.44-0.74), 0.54 (0.40-0.73), and 0.38 (0.20-0.73).

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings indicate that a low-risk lifestyle can substantially reduce the risk of stroke, especially cerebral infarction.

PMID: 25298305