Physical activity may lessen stroke severity
How active a person is before having a stroke predicts how severe the stroke will be and how well he or she recovers, Danish researchers have found.
Dr. Lars-Henrik Krarup, from Copenhagen University Hospital, and colleagues looked at 265 people who had suffered a first stroke. After factoring in age, history of diabetes and other conditions, those patients with high pre-stroke physical activity scores were more likely to have a less severe stroke, the team reports in the medical journal Neurology.
Likewise, the outcome after two years was substantially better in patients in the highest ranking for physical activity.
“We have shown that two years after their stroke event, patients’ level of pre-stroke physical activity remained significantly associated with disability and independence,” Krarup commented.
“Subjects with the best outcome were up to 2 hours more physically active than the most sedentary subjects on a daily basis,” he added. “The activities included not only specific exercises but also physical work in the garden and heavy housework,” emphasizing that physical activity can be incorporated into daily routines.
He concluded, “In the future it will be important to find means of improving levels of physical activity in the population—an ongoing public health challenge.”
SOURCE: Neurology, October 21, 2008.
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