Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Why Physical Activity Is Important For Stroke Prevention?

With the help of physical activity, the risk of heart disease and stroke could greatly be reduced. Regular physical activity can also help prevent and control high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type-2 diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity and certain types of cancer.

Exercise, as shown by various studies, can actually cut the risk of such diseases as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50 percent, and the risk of early death by up to 30 percent.

Researchers from the Arizona State University, University of South Australia and the University of Alabama reported in their recent study that people who work out enough to break a sweat on a regular basis are less likely to have a stroke compared to people who are physically inactive. Their findings were published online July 18, 2013 in the American Heart Association journal ‘Stroke’.

The study examined 27,348 participants who were part of the Reasons for Geographic and Ethnic Differences in Stroke (the REGARDS study). The participants reported at baseline their frequency of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity according to 3 categories: none (physical inactivity), 1 to 3 times, and 4 times and above per week. They did not, however, reported how long they were physically active each day.

These participants were followed for an average of 5.7 years, and it was found that 1/3 of the participants reported being inactive, exercising less than once a week. Inactive people were found to be 20 percent more likely to experience a stroke or mini-stroke than those who exercised at moderate to vigorous intensity (enough to break a sweat) at least 4 times a week.

Mini-stroke is also called transient ischemic attack (TIA). It is an event that has stroke symptoms lasting less than 24 hours before disappearing. TIA generally does not cause permanent brain damage, but it is a serious warning sign of stroke and should not be ignored!

Among men, only those who exercised at moderate or vigorous intensity 4 or more times a week had a lowered stroke risk. But the relationship between stroke and frequency of activity was less clear among women. According to researchers, the weak relationship with physical activity and women observed in this study might be because women can get the benefit with less vigorous exercise such as walking that was not the focus of the analysis covered in the study. 

Being the first to quantify protective effects of physical activity on stroke in a large multiracial group of men and women in the United States, the study supported previous findings that physical inactivity is second only to high blood pressure as a risk factor for stroke.

No comments:

Post a Comment