New Delhi: Turns out, people at high genetic risk of stroke can still reduce their chances of having a stroke by sticking to a healthy lifestyle, in particular stopping smoking and not being overweight, a new study has revealed. The study which appeared in the BMJ highlights the potential of lifestyle measures to reduce the risk of stroke across entire populations, even in those at high genetic risk of stroke.
Stroke is a complex disease caused by both genetic and environmental factors, including diet and lifestyle. However, an unfavourable lifestyle was associated with a 66% increased risk of stroke compared with a favourable lifestyle, and this increased risk was present within any genetic risk category.
A high genetic risk combined with an unfavourable lifestyle profile was associated with a more than twofold increased risk of stroke compared with a low genetic risk and a favourable lifestyle. These findings highlight the benefit for the entire population of adhering to a healthy lifestyle, independent of genetic risk.
Among the lifestyle factors, the most significant associations were seen for smoking and being overweight or obese.