According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7,95,000 people suffer a stroke in the United States each year. That equates to one stroke every 40 seconds.
According to a recent study, people who are genetically predisposed to stroke can reduce their risk by up to 43 percent by leading a healthy cardiovascular lifestyle.
The research was led by UT Health Houston and the results were published in the journal ‘American Heart Association’.
The study enrolled 11,568 adults aged 45 to 64 who were stroke-free at baseline and followed for a median of 28 years. The cardiovascular health scores were based on the American Heart Association’s “Life’s Simple 7” recommendations, which include quitting smoking, eating better, exercising, losing weight, controlling blood pressure, controlling cholesterol and lower blood sugar.
The lifetime risk of stroke was calculated using something called a polygenic stroke risk score, with people with more genetic risk factors associated with stroke risk scoring higher.
“Our study confirmed that changing lifestyle risk factors, such as controlling blood pressure, can offset a genetic risk of stroke,” said Myriam Fornage, Ph.D., senior author and professor of molecular medicine and human genetics at the Institute of Molecular Medicine at UTHealth Houston.
“We can use genetic information to determine who is at higher risk and encourage them to adopt a healthy cardiovascular lifestyle, such as following the AHA’s Life’s Simple 7, to lower that risk and live a longer, healthier life.” Fornage is The Laurence and Johanna Favrot Distinguished Professor in Cardiology at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston.
Each year, 7,95,000 people in the U.S. suffer a stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That equates to someone having a stroke every 40 seconds, and someone dying from a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Stroke is a leading cause of long-term serious disability with stroke reducing mobility in more than half of stroke survivors age 65 and older. But stroke also occurs in younger adults – in 2014, 38 per cent of people hospitalized for stroke were less than 65 years old.
People in the study who scored the highest for genetic risk of stroke and the poorest for cardiovascular health had the highest lifetime risk of having a stroke at 25 per cent. Regardless of the level of genetic risk of stroke, those who had practised optimal cardiovascular health lowered that risk by 30 per cent to 45 per cent. That added up to nearly six more years of life free of stroke.
Overall, people with low adherence to Life’s Simple 7 suffered the most stroke events (56.8 per cent) while those with a high adherence had 71 strokes (6.2 per cent).
A limitation of the paper is the polygenic risk score has not been validated broadly, so its clinical utility is not optimal, particularly for people from diverse racial or ethnic backgrounds. (ANI)
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