More than nine out of ten strokes in the world could be prevented with lifestyle changes, according to a study from Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. The researchers used data on stroke incidence and risk factors from 1990 to 2013 obtained from the Global Burden of Disease Study that included 188 countries. Results showed that 90.5% of all strokes was attributable to modifiable risk factors, including poor diet, low physical activity, and smoking. Clusters of metabolic factors associated with those habits, including high BMI, elevated blood glucose and diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension were the second greatest contributor to stroke, followed by environmental factors, such as air pollution and lead exposure.
Researchers at the University of Mississippi found that adults who followed at least a few of four lifestyle habits (1. a healthy diet, 2. maintaining a healthy body weight, 3. being physically active, and 4. not smoking) significantly lowered their risk for heart disease. Less than 3% of the 4,745 participants had all four of those healthy lifestyle characteristics.)
Feigin V, Roth G, Naghavi M, et al: Global burden of stroke and risk factors in 188 countries, during 1990-2013. Lancet Neurology 2016;June 9th.
Loprinzi P, Branscum A, Hanks J, et al: Healthy lifestyle characteristics and their joint association with cardiovascular disease biomarkers in US adults. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 2016;91:432-442.