Five healthy practices dramatically reduce stroke risk in large study population
Few conditions are more devastating than stroke, yet an article published ahead of print on August 12, 2008 in the American Heart Association journal Circulation (http://circ.ahajournals.org/
) reports that just five healthy lifestyle factors may confer significant protection against the event.
For the current study, researchers at Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School evaluated data from 43,685 men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and 71,243 women from the Nurses’ Health Study. Information concerning lifestyle factors was obtained from questionnaires completed by the subjects at several time points during the studies’ follow-up periods. The researchers identified five characteristics of a low-risk lifestyle: not smoking, having a body mass index of less than 25 kilograms per cubic meter, participating in at least 30 minutes per day of moderate activity, modest alcohol intake (defined as 5 to 30 grams per day for men and 5 to 15 grams per day for women), and a high healthy diet score. Diets were scored according to their adherence to components of the US Department of Agriculture Healthy Eating Index, which includes increased intakes of vegetables, fruit, nuts, soy, and cereal fiber; higher ratios of chicken plus fish to red meat, and polyunsaturated to saturated fat; low trans fat intake, and at least five years of multivitamin use. Adherence to the DASH diet and the 6-nutrient diet associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease in the Nurses’ Health Study were also included in the diet score. Continue Reading http://www.lef.org/newsletter/2008/0822_Five-Healthy-Practices-Reduce-Stroke-Risk.htm?source=eNewsLetter2008Wk34-2&key=Article&l=0#article