Fitness a Key to Post-Stroke Recovery

Individuals who are active and exercise on a regular basis before a stroke are less likely to face disability afterward. Researchers found that among those in the study who suffered a stroke, those who had exercised regularly before their stroke were 18% more likely to perform basic tasks—such as bathing by themselves—three years after the event. Furthermore, fitter individuals were 16% more likely to be able to perform more complex tasks, such as managing money on their own, than those who did not exercise before their stroke. Neurology, April 2017

Osteoarthritis Linked to Stroke

Taiwanese researchers report that patients living with osteoarthritis (OA) have an elevated risk for stroke. Using data from Taiwan’s Longitudinal Health Insurance Database, researchers found that patients with mild to moderate OA have a 95% higher risk for stroke when compared to those without OA. Additionally, the risk of stroke is nearly four-times greater for those with severe OA. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, March 2017

Calcium Buildup in Arteries Among Young May Signal Cardiovascular Problems

Researchers performed CT scans and collected data on more than 3,000 men and women with an average age of 40 and found that individuals with any calcified plaque in their arteries had a five times greater risk for cardiovascular problems. Furthermore, these individuals had a three times increased risk for a heart attack or stroke. Northwestern University’s Dr. Philip Greenland comments, “The fact that arterial blockages can occur in such young adults reinforces the need for much younger people—like teenagers and 20- to 30-year-olds—to follow healthy exercise and eating habits and not smoke.” JAMA Cardiology, February 2017

Daylight Savings Linked to Increased Risk of Stroke

Finnish researchers have found that changing the clock forward or back leads raises an individual’s stroke risk. The team analyzed data from 3,033 men and women hospitalized during the week after a daylight saving time transition and found that the overall rate of ischemic stroke was 8% higher during the first two days after the time change than in subsequent days. Author Dr. Jori Ruuskanen explains, “We know from previous studies that stroke risk is highest in the morning hours and daylight saving time slightly shifts the timing pattern of stroke onset. Previous studies have also shown that the disruption of the circadian clock due to other reasons (e.g. due to rotating shift work) and sleep fragmentation are associated with an increased risk of stroke.” Further research is needed to confirm the findings, but the team believes the results are convincing.
American Academy of Neurology’s 68th Annual Meeting, April 2016

Kidney Stones Increase Risk of Heart Disease

A new study suggests that kidney stones can increase an individual’s risk for coronary heart disease and stroke. The results of the study found that patients with kidney stones have a 19% increased risk for coronary heart disease and a 40% higher risk for stroke. Thomas Manley, director of scientific activities at the National Kidney Foundation, writes, “Kidney stones are common, and with their association to coronary heart disease and stroke found in this study, it suggests that a thorough cardiovascular assessment should be considered in patients who develop kidney stones.”
American Journal of Kidney Diseases, August 2014