IRISH TIMES SATURDAY 16/7/2016 by Elaine Edwards
The number of strokes would be halved if high blood pressure was eliminated and would be cut by 36 percent if people were physically active, according to new research.
Ten risk factors, all of which can be modified are responsible for 9 out of 10 strokes worldwide say the study in the medical journal, the Lancet.
It was led by researchers from NUI Galway and McMaster University in Canada.
The latest phase of the inter-stroke study, which began in 2007, build on the findings that identified the 10 modifiable risk factors for stroke in 6000 participants from 22 countries.
This full scale study added 20,000 individuals from 32 countries in Europe (including 44 people from Ireland) Asia, Africa, America and Australia, and sought to identify the main causes of stroke in diverse populations, young and old, men and women and within subtypes of stroke.
Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability, particularly in low income and middle-income countries.
About 10,000 strokes happen in Ireland each year, according to the Irish Heart Foundation.
5 out of 6 happen in people over the age of 60.
About a fifth (20 percent) of those hospitalised with a stroke will die in hospital, and most of the remaining number will require some level of rehabilitation.
The investigators found the number of strokes would be cut almost in half (48 percent) if hypertension was eliminated; by more than a third (36 percent) if people were physically active, and by almost a fifth (19 percent) if they had better diets.
In addition, the proportion of strokes was cut by 12 percent if smoking was eliminated, by 9 percent for cardiac causes, 4 percent for diabetes, 6 percent for alcohol intake, 6 percent for stress, and by 27 percent for lipids (bad lipids).
The study was led by Dr Martin O’ Donnell of HRB clinical research facility, NUI Galway, and Dr Salim Yusuf of the population health research institute of McMaster University in Canada.
Here we have yet another study which confirms yet again the benefits of regular exercise, along with a good diet.
We’re way behind the rest of the world in Ireland when it comes to the explanation of what regular exercise means. e.g. Irish men are now the most obese in Europe.
In 2010 The World Health Organisation (WHO) for the first time used the word ‘Vigorous’ when recommending
1 hour per day at 5 days per week. They recommend 30 minutes moderate intensity exercise and 30 minutes Vigorous intensity exercise (heart rate between 60 and 85 percent of its max and so having a greater oxygen intake) 5 times per week.
Note: Walking can be a good stress reliever, but if the pace/intensity is the same for the duration of the walk, not only will the cardiovascular benefits be minimal or zero, but bone building stimulas for the maintenance of bone mass especially at the hip and vertabral column will also be zero.