More Physical Activity, Less Sitting May Lower Risk for Stroke

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Spending more time being physically active, particularly at moderate intensity, and less time being sedentary may lower the risk for having a stroke.

HealthDay News Spending more time being physically active, particularly at moderate intensity, and less time being sedentary may lower the risk for having a stroke, according to a study published online June 3 in JAMA Network Open.

Steven P. Hooker, Ph.D., from San Diego State University, and colleagues examined associations of accelerometer-measured sedentary time and physical activity of varying intensity and duration with the risk for incident stroke. The analysis included 7,607 Black and White adults (aged 45 years and older) with accelerometer data collected between May 12, 2009, and Jan. 5, 2013, and a mean 7.4 years of follow-up.

The researchers found that incident stroke risk was lower in the highest tertile versus the lowest tertile of activity (adjusted hazard ratios [aHRs], 0.74 [95 percent confidence interval (CI), 0.53 to 1.04; P = 0.08] and 0.57 [95 percent CI, 0.38 to 0.84; P = 0.004] for light-intensity physical activity [LIPA] and moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity, respectively). There was a higher risk for incident stroke with more sedentary time (aHR, 1.44; 95 percent CI, 0.99 to 2.07; P = 0.04). When expressed as continuous variables, sedentary time was positively associated with incident stroke risk (aHR per one-hour/day increase in sedentary time, 1.14; 95 percent CI, 1.02 to 1.28; P = 0.02), and LIPA was negatively associated with incident stroke risk (aHR per one-hour/day increase in LIPA, 0.86; 95 percent CI, 0.77 to 0.97; P = 0.02).

“This study’s findings suggest that more time spent being physically active, especially at moderate intensities, and less time spent being sedentary, particularly in longer bouts, may help reduce the risk of stroke,” the authors write.

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