NHS

Obesity and unhealthy living linked to stroke rise in middle-aged people

Obesity and sedentary lifestyles are thought to be behind the increased number of middle-aged people suffering strokes.
New research from the Stroke Association has shown that 6,221 men aged between 40 and 54 were hospitalised after a stroke last year. This number is up 46 per cent from 4,260 men in 2000. This number for women was 4,604, a rise of 30 per cent.
Between 2000 and 2014, hospital data revealed that the number of strokes occurring in people of working age (between 20 and 64) rose by 25 per cent.
Higher incidences of diabetes, unhealthy diets and inactive lifestyles are thought by experts to be factors that could explain this increase.
People with diabetes face an increases risk of stroke, while obesity – which is a leading cause of type 2 diabetes – is another risk factor for greater likelihood of stroke.
“Certain factors such as diabetes and obesity increase the risk of stroke for people of all age groups,” said a spokeswoman for NHS England said.
Stroke prevention
John Barrick from the Stroke Association said: “High blood pressure is associated with obesity, lack of exercise, increase in salt and bad diet plus all of the things we are told we mustn’t do like smoking or drinking too much.
“We have seen an increase in many of those factors and we think that is now feeding through to the working age population.”
Lifestyle changes such as taking regular physical activity, quitting smoking and reducing alcohol intake lowers the risk of stroke.
For people with diabetes, vigilant management of blood sugar levels and keeping blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol within target ranges can reduce the risk.

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