Globally strokes are one of the most common causes of death. 90% of strokes are caused by 10 modifiable risk factors. If these risk factors are adjusted, almost all strokes could be prevented.
These are the results of a study published in the leading journal The Lancet.
The study was led by Dr. Martin O’Donnell and Dr. Salim Yusuf of the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster and collaborators from 32 countries in Europe, Asia, America, Africa and Australia and included 20,000 individuals. “This study has the size and scope to explore stroke risk factors in all major regions of the world and within key populations,” said O’Donnell
“We have confirmed the ten modifiable risk factors associated with 90% of stroke cases in all regions, young and older and in men and women. The study also confirms that hypertension is the most important modifiable risk factor in all regions, and the key target in reducing the burden of stroke globally.”
The 10 preventable causes of strokes:
1. hypertension, (48 percent of strokes)
2. lack of exercise (36 percent of strokes)
3. elevated blood fats, specifically apolipoproteins (27 percent of strokes)
4. poor diet (9 percent of strokes)
5. greater waist-to-hip ratio (18 percent of strokes)
6. smoking (12 percent of strokes)
7. cardiac factors (9 percent of strokes)
8. diabetes (4 percent of strokes)
9. alcohol (6 percent of strokes)
10. stress levels (6 percent of strokes)
“Many of these risk factors are known to also be associated with each other (such as obesity and diabetes), and when were combined together, the total for all 10 risk factors was 91%, which was similar in all regions, age groups and in men and women.”
The study confirmed the findings of previous studies. One of the most common causes of death and disability (stroke) is largely preventable. Now it is time to act. “Our findings will inform the development of global population-level interventions to reduce stroke, and how such programs may be tailored to individual regions,” said Yusuf.
Source: The Lancet