As per research from UTHealth Houston, which was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, people who are genetically predisposed to stroke can reduce their risk by as much as 43 percent by leading a good cardiovascular lifestyle.
According to the CDC, 795,000 Americans have a stroke each year. A stroke occurs every 40 seconds, and a stroke-related death occurs every 3.5 minutes.
More than half of stroke survivors age 65 and older have reduced mobility, making stroke a significant cause of long-term serious impairment. However, stroke can also strike younger adults.
11,568 adults between the ages of 45 and 64 who had no history of stroke at the beginning of the trial were included.
The American Heart Association‘s Life’s Simple 7 guidelines, which include quitting smoking, eating better, exercising, losing weight, managing blood pressure, regulating cholesterol, and lowering blood sugar, were used to determine the levels of cardiovascular health.
“Our study confirmed that modifying lifestyle risk factors, such as controlling blood pressure, can offset a genetic risk of stroke,” said Myriam Fornage, Ph.D., senior author, and professor of molecular medicine and human genetics at the Institute of Molecular Medicine at UTHealth Houston. “We can use genetic information to determine who is at higher risk and encourage them to adopt a healthy cardiovascular lifestyle, such as following the AHA’s Life’s Simple 7, to lower that risk and live a longer, healthier life.” Fornage is The Laurence and Johanna Favrot Distinguished Professor in Cardiology at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston.
A stroke polygenic risk score was used to calculate a person’s lifetime risk of stroke, with larger scores going to those with more genetic risk factors.
The study’s participants with the highest hereditary risk of stroke and the worse cardiovascular health had a 25% lifetime probability of suffering a stroke. Those who have maintained ideal cardiovascular health reduced this risk by 30% to 45%. That added up to almost six more years without experiencing a stroke.
In general, individuals who adhered less to Life’s Simple 7 poorly experienced the most stroke episodes (56.8%), while those who did so closely experienced 71 strokes (6.2 percent ).
The polygenic risk score has not received widespread validation, which makes it less useful clinically, especially for those with various racial or cultural backgrounds. This is a weakness of the article.