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Stroke risk increased by smoking and poor diet

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Smoking, a poor diet and and an expanding waistline are among the factors most associated with strokes, according to a new study.

The researchers found that the list of top 10 factors accounted for 90% of stroke risk.

The Interstroke study looked at data from 3,000 patients who suffered their first stroke in the period between March 2007 and April this year. It included data from 22 countries, and looked at a number of lifestyle and biological factors that could contribute to the chances of having a stroke.

The results were then compared with the details of the same number of healthy individuals.

The 10 key risk factors were: high blood pressure, current smoking, abdominal obesity, poor diet, lack of physical exercise, diabetes, excess alcohol consumption, stress and depression, heart disorders, and the presence of blood fat molecules called apolipoproteins.

Five lifestyle-linked factors - high blood pressure, smoking, abdominal obesity, diet and physical activity - accounted for more than 80% of the worldwide risk of stroke on their own.

Most of the risk factors mirrored those associated with heart attacks, previously highlighted in another study called Interheart.

The results were published online by The Lancet medical journal.

Dr Martin O’Donnell, from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and colleagues wrote: “Our findings suggest that 10 risk factors are associated with 90% of the risk of stroke. Targeted interventions that reduce blood pressure and smoking, and promote physical activity and healthy diet, could substantially reduce the burden of stroke.”

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Really? Well bugger me! Stop the presses quick, how has noone realised this before?

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  • Was that really a neccessary comment?? The Government won't do anything without evidence based research and even then it's difficult to obtain practice guidelines. This information needs to be researched time and time again until they pull their fingers out and actually publish some policy guidelines that hospitals can pass onto patients. It would help!!!

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