Researchers from the UK studied the effects of not smoking, physical activity, moderate alcohol intake, and vitamin C blood levels as an indication of fruit and vegetable intake on the risk of stoke.
First, the details.
20,040 older men and women with no history of stroke or heart attack and living in the general community over about 11 years were studied.
Participants scored 1 point for each health behavior.
Physically not inactive
Moderate alcohol intake (1-14 units a week)
Blood levels of vitamin C of at least 50 mcmol/L, indicating fruit and vegetable intake of at least 5 servings a day
Total scores ranged from 0 to 4.
And, the results.
Those not engaged in any of the 4 specific healthy behaviors had more than twice the risk for stroke compared to those who engaged in all 4 â€” exercising regularly (or having a nonsedentary occupation), not smoking, eating at least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables daily, and drinking moderately.
The risk for stroke increased linearly with increasing numbers of unhealthy behaviors.
The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “The combined impact of the 4 health behaviors, though relatively modest and potentially achievable across all ages, sex, and social classes, was associated with an estimated 2.3-fold difference in risk of stroke.”
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.