Moderate exercise such as brisk walking, cycling… 25 minutes a day can help reduce the risk of stroke by more than 40%.
Recent US research published on DailyMail (UK) tracking the activities of more than 7,500 people in their 60s showed that people who sit for one hour a day have a 14% increased risk of stroke. People who were inactive for 13 hours or more from waking up in the morning were 44% more likely to have a stroke than those who were inactive for less than 11 hours. Over the course of seven years, the study found that 286 strokes occurred among the most sedentary, i.e. not moving for 13 or more hours a day. This group of people has the highest risk of stroke.
According to this study, the risk of stroke can be reduced with exercise. Light exercise for 3.5 hours per week (including doing housework or walking around the house) can reduce the risk of stroke by 26% compared to moving less than 2 hours a day. People who spent 14 minutes or more doing moderate or vigorous exercise such as brisk walking, cycling or even gardening had a 47 percent lower risk of stroke compared with those who did less than three minutes a day. The optimal amount of moderate exercise for people in their 60s is about 25 minutes a day.
Two 2018 and 2019 American studies also showed that being inactive can lead to fat accumulation in the arteries, increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Physical activity helps reduce the risk of stroke by regulating blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and reducing fat deposits in the viscera and body.
According to Dr. Nguyen Thi Minh Duc – Head of the Department of Neurology, Tam Anh General Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, there are two main types of stroke. Ischemic stroke accounts for about 80% of all strokes. It occurs when there is a blockage in a blood vessel that prevents blood from reaching part of the brain. A hemorrhagic stroke, more rarely, occurs when a blood vessel bursts, flooding part of the brain with blood while other areas lose blood supply. The risk of dying from a stroke is quite high. About 30% of people with a subarachnoid hemorrhage die before reaching the hospital. Another 25% die within 24 hours. 40% of stroke survivors will die within a week.
Age, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, family history and history of previous stroke or TIA (mini-stroke or transient ischemic attack) are high risk factors for stroke. Stroke is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. In Vietnam, according to Dr. Minh Duc, every year about 200,000 people have a stroke, which is the third leading cause of death. The average age of having a stroke is usually over 50, 60 years old. The rate of stroke in young people is on the rise, accounting for 10-15% of all strokes.
Stroke is preventable
Dr Minh Duc added that stroke can be prevented by strictly controlling risk factors and causes. Patients need to adhere to lifestyle adjustments combined with drug interventions including: control high blood pressure, quit smoking, maintain a stable weight, reduce blood fat, check for heart disease, manage diabetes… Currently, there are two methods of examining brain vessels for screening and diagnosis: cerebral vascular magnetic resonance imaging and cerebral vascular computed tomography with injection. If a vascular malformation is detected, the physician will consider active embolization before the malformation ruptures.
“Early diagnosis of cerebral vascular malformations before rupture will bring high treatment results, proactive and 10 times safer than intervention when the vessel has broken,” said Doctor Minh Duc.
Normal people, people at risk or history of stroke will have packages from basic to advanced to suit. In addition to CT scan or brain MRI, according to the German doctor, patients can do blood sugar tests, blood counts, electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, gene tests, etc. to screen for effective stroke.