Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Most Strokes can be Prevented

Strokes are one of the health issues that people fear the most as they age.  Recently, researchers discovered that 90 percent of strokes are preventable!  They learned this by analyzing 27,000 people from every continent on earth.  While there were some regional variations which determined what factors were most important in causing strokes, the list of health issues that contribute to them was surprisingly consistent ... and preventable.

How the Research was Conducted

The study was headed up by Dr. Martin O'Donnell and Professor Salim Yusef of McMaster University.  They were supported by collaborators from 32 countries.  Their study built on the INTERSTROKE study which originally discovered the ten most important risk factors for strokes, based on 6,000 participants who were in 22 different countries.  As mentioned above, O'Donnell and Yusef expanded the research to include 27,000 people from around the world.

What are the Risk Factors for Strokes?

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, was the most important factor in determining stroke risk.  That was true in every region.

However, the researchers came up with a PAR percentage (Population Attributable Risk) for each risk factor that contributed to strokes.  Many of the risk factors are associated with each other, such as obesity and diabetes.  When the PAR numbers were combined, it showed that controlling these risk factors could eliminate 90.7 percent of all strokes.  This was true in all regions of world, in all age groups, and for both men and women.

The Overall PAR Percentages

Hypertension - 47.9
Physical Inactivity - 35.8
Lipids (cholesterol, triglycerides, etc.) - 26.8
Poor diet - 23.2
Obesity - 18.6
Smoking - 12.4
Cardiac problems (including atrial fibrillation) - 9.1
Alcohol intake - 5.8
Stress - 5.8
Diabetes - 3.9

Conclusions from this Study

Professor Valery L. Feigin and Dr. Rita Kishnamurthi, who are with the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences, added their own comment to the study.  In it they said, in part, "stroke is a highly preventable disease globally, irrespective of age and sex."

How to Apply this Information to Your Life

Now that scientists have confirmed that over 90 percent of strokes are preventable, individuals can work with their doctors to take action and prevent it.  You can use the list above to determine which areas of your life are most in need of change ... high blood pressure, lack of exercise, high cholesterol and triglycerides, a poor diet, being over-weight, smoking, cardiac problems, excessive alcohol use, stress and diabetes.

The sooner you address any of these issues in your personal life, the less likely you are to ever experience a stroke.

As always, be sure you discuss your health issues with your doctor.  Only they can prescribe medications which could help you control your blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes.  Working closely with your physician and following their advice are the best ways to prevent strokes.


If you are interested in learning more about common health issues as you age, financial planning, where to retire, Social Security, Medicare and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional, helpful articles.

You are reading from the blog:  http://www.baby-boomer-retirement.com

Photo credit:  morguefile.com

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