Longer you walk, lower the risk of stroke

Longer you walk, lower the risk of stroke

Dallas, USA (ISJ): Walking one to two hours a day reduces risk of stroke among older men, says a study conducted by American Heart Association.

The study among 3,435 healthy men in the age-group of 60 and 80 found men who walked eight to fourteen hours per week had about one-third lower risk of stroke than men who spend less than three hours walking every week. The risk was about two-third lower for those walking more than 22 hours a week.

This category of men had 80 strokes per 10,000 person-years (years of treatment with a given drug), while men who walked 8-14 hours per week had 55 strokes per 10,000 person-years.

"If you took one thousand men who usually walk 8-14 hours per week and followed them for 10 years, on average they would have 55 strokes, compared with 80 for the group who only walk zero to three hours per week," explained Barbara Jefferis, leader author and senior research associate in the Department of Primary Care and Population Health at University College London in the U.K.

"The total time spent walking was more consistently protective against stroke than walking pace; overall it seemed that accumulating more time walking was most beneficial," said Jefferis.

The participants of the study were part of the British Regional Heart Study, sampled from one primary care center in each of 24 towns across Britain. In 1998-2000, participants completed questionnaires about various aspects of their walking activities and other physical activities.

Nurses also conducted a range of traditional health tests such as blood pressure and measured novel risk factors such as inflammatory markers.

"Our findings suggest that regular walking each week could be an important part of stroke prevention strategies in older people," Jefferis said.

India and China would account for 80 per cent of stroke cases in the world by 2050, according to estimates by World Health Organisation. India had 9.3 lakh cases of strokes and 6.4 lakh deaths due to stroke in 2004, mostly people below the age of 45 years, reports Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Projections by ICMR suggest, the number of stroke cases in the country could touch 1.6 million cases annually by 2015.


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