Most of us have heard that living a healthy lifestyle lowers the risk of certain illnesses and diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Research shows that the same can be said for strokes. The most common type of stroke is the ischemic stroke which occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is reduced.

One study, published in the journal Circulation, finds that people who fit the definition of a healthy or low-risk lifestyle are about 80% less likely to suffer an ischemic stroke compared to those who do not meet any of the criteria.

But what is considered a healthy or low-risk lifestyle? For this study, the following elements were used:

*Maintaining a healthy weight (body mass index less than 25)

*At least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day

*No smoking

*Moderate drinking of alcohol

*Consumption of a relatively healthy diet including good amounts of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, chicken and fish, and low amounts of trans and saturated fats.

The men in the study who met all five of these criteria were 69% less likely to suffer any type of stroke and 80% less likely to have an ischemic stroke. For women, the numbers are 79% and 81% respectively.

This study adds to the body of research showing that a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of chronic diseases and illnesses. Has the doctor recently given you or a loved one diet or exercise advice?  Have you fully implemented that advice?  If not, home health can help you or your loved one implement a therapeutic diet and a safe exercise plan in the comfort of home.  The added attention we provide during multiple, friendly visits to your home gives you every advantage in fully implementing your medical instructions.

Source: Chiuve S, Rexrode K, Spiegelman D, et al. Primary prevention of stroke by healthy lifestyle. Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, 118: 947-954.

Lifestyle & Stroke

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