9 out of 10 strokes are preventable
Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide, but studies show that 90 percent of strokes are preventable.
The ten risk factors for strokes are hypertension, physical inactivity, hyperlipidemia, poor diet, obesity, smoking, heart causes, diabetes
, alcohol consumption, and stress. All are controllable and reducing them lessens the chance of having a stroke.
Harnessing this knowledge, several medical institutes around the world collectively known as INTERSTROKE conducted the study with a sample group of nearly 27,000 people from 32 countries. The data reveal hypertension is the primary cause of stroke
. Eliminating hypertension reduces stroke risk by almost 48 percent. Eliminating all ten causes would decrease the risk by 90.7 percent.
This research confirms that changing risky behavior is the most efficient and sensible way to prevent stroke.
Loneliness may lead to heart problems
A recent study in the British journal, Heart, finds that loneliness and social isolation may increase one’s risk of heart attack and stroke.
Researchers at the University of York, United Kingdom, reviewed 23 studies regarding the behavior of sociability, which comprised a sample of 181,000 adults. The study found that over time people who felt lonely or isolated have a 29 percent increased risk of heart attack and 32 percent increased risk of stroke compared to more socially active people. The risk was similar to that of light smoking or obesity.
Medical opinion agrees that mental health directly impacts physical health, especially when it comes to loneliness. Besides heart attack and stroke, previous studies indicate that isolation weakens the immune system and causes hypertension
Lack of exercise may shrink your brain
Research published in Neurology this year points to a connection between exercise behavior of middle-aged people and brain shrinkage in later years. Researchers followed a sample group of 1,100 people of average age of 40 for 20 years. Unfit middle-aged subjects showed decreased brain tissue volume in comparison to people with more active lifestyles.
The sample group had no history of heart disease or dementia, and all subjects underwent a cardiorespiratory endurance treadmill test, neuropsychological testing and MRI brain scans. Previous studies indicated that moderate physical exercise correlated with slower brain aging. New neurological testing technology – such as the brain scans – now proves it.