THE FITTER people are when they reach middle age, the less likely they are to suffer a later-in-life
stroke, according to US re- search out last month.
The findings, published in a journal of the American Heart Association, are based on a study of nearly 20,000 adults aged 45 to 50.
The individuals, 79 per cent of whom were men and 90 per cent were white, were sub- jected to tests to meas- ure their heart and lung exercise capacity.
They were subsequently ranked as having either a high, middle or low level of fitness.
The study determined that those with the highest fitness level had a 37 per cent lower risk of suffering a stroke after the age of 65 compared to those in the lowest fitness category.
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the US and a major cause of
The link between physical fitness and a lower chance of having a stroke remained even after other risk factors – including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and an irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation – were considered.
“These findings sup- port the unique and independent role of exercise in the preven- tion of stroke,” said senior study author Jarett Berry, an associ- ate professor of inter- nal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
The findings are published in the American Heart Association’s journal