Monday, June 28, 2010

Research Highlights: Interstroke Study Identifies Ten Risk Factors

Interstroke Study Identifies Ten Risk Factors
By: Caroline Melhado

The Interstroke study, published by the Lancet, identified ten significant risk factors that were present in 90% of all examined stroke cases. Like the Interheart study, the Interstroke study found that a decrease in these risk factors could significantly reduce the global incidence of stroke.

The study examined 3,000 patients with ischaemic stroke or intracerebral haemorrhagic, and compared them to 3,000 controls from 22 countries. Physical examinations and questionnaires of individuals identified ten factors: Hypertension, smoking, waist-to-hip ratio, diet, physical activity, diabetes mellitus, alcohol intake, psychosocial stress or depression, cardiac problems and ratio of apolipoprotiens B to A1.

While these risk factors are equivalent to those of the Interheart study, differences were most notable in hypertension, apolipoproteins, physical activity and alcohol intake. Hypertension was found to be the largest risk factor in patients with stroke, especially intracerebral haemorrhagic, for it was found in 52% of stroke patients. The study also found that components of the Mediterranean diet, such as an increased consumption of fruit and fish, lead to a decreased risk of stroke.

Public Health officials might use this study to lower hypertension pharmacologically or through other methods. Likewise this study has confirmed many previous epidemiological studies that relate risk factors for myocardial infarction and stroke.

Lancet 2010l; doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60834-3
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