Prevention of Stroke – Suggested Lifestyle and Dietary Habits

Mar 3, 2009 by

Prevention of Stroke – Suggested Lifestyle and Dietary Habits

The best strategy for the prevention of strokes must surely be to live a healthy lifestyle.

Stroke is pretty much the brain version of what happens to the heart in a heart attack. When an artery which brings blood to the brain is blocked, or when small vessels in the brain burst, then the brain is in big trouble.

In the US, strokes are among the top few major disease killers. This is probably also a recurring theme in other developed countries.

A study published last year has indeed pointed out some useful lifestyle good habits we can undertake in the prevention of stroke. Read on for the full article.

Pursuing a Healthy Lifestyle Cuts Your Risk of Strokes Drastically

by Reuben Chow

From previous studies, it had already been shown that living a healthy lifestyle contributes to lower risks of contracting various serious illnesses, such as coronary heart disease, cancer and diabetes. But little had been proven about the link between healthy living and one’s risk of getting a stroke.

This gap has been closed by the findings of a recent study conducted by the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.

“This study shows that following a healthy lifestyle, which has been associated with up to 80 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease and 90 percent lower risk of diabetes, may also prevent more than half of ischemic strokes,” said Dr. Stephanie E. Chiuve, leader of the study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Stroke – a major killer today

Each year, it is estimated that over 780,000 people in the United States alone suffer a stroke — this works out to about one person every 40 seconds. Of this figure, about 600,000 are first-time occurrences.

An ischemic stroke takes place when the blood supply to a part of the brain is reduced, and the affected brain tissue suffers dysfunction and necrosis. This could happen, for example, when a blood vessel becomes blocked. Ischemic strokes are the most common kind of stroke, with about 87% of all strokes estimated to be of this nature.

When categorized separately from other cardiovascular diseases, strokes are the third highest killer in the United States today, behind cancer and heart disease.

Details of Stroke Study

This latest study, published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, analyzed the living habits and health status of a total of 43,685 men as well as 71,243 women from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) and the Nurses’ Health Study respectively.

The participants reported on their medical status and lifestyle factors every two years, with the males tracked from 1986 to 2002 and the females from 1984 to 2002. In the course of the respective periods, 994 men and 1,559 women suffered strokes, of which 600 and 853 respectively were ischemic strokes.

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