German researchers have shown that the rewards of a healthy lifestyle include lowering the risk of suffering a stroke. They analyzed data from nearly 24,000 people and determined that those who maintain a healthy weight, don’t smoke, exercise regularly, consume alcohol only in moderation and eat a healthful diet rich in vegetables were less likely to have a stroke.
Smoking increased the risk of stroke dramatically. Former smokers did not have an elevated risk of stroke, so quitting is protective. Heavy drinking was also associated with a greater risk of strokes, as was excess weight, especially around the waist. The investigators suggest that 38 percent of strokes could be avoided by following the common-sense recommendations above.
The People’s Pharmacy perspective gently suggests that we should all listen to our grandmothers. In most cases, if we followed their advice, we would find the stroke prevention factors listed above would already be a natural part of our everyday living.