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Stress may elevate stroke risk

Category: General Wellness

A blood test that assesses one's stroke risk profile could inform an individual's decisions about making lifestyle adjustments in order to prevent a major event. These modifications may include stress management, as new research published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry suggests that chronic stress, as well as type A personality traits, may increase the likelihood of a stroke.

Although stress has been linked to heart disease, little was known about its connection to stroke. In order to investigate further, a team of scientists conducted an experiment that included 150 adults who had been admitted to the stroke unit of a hospital, and 300 adults who served as healthy controls.

Study participants underwent assessments for personality, mental health, lifestyle choices and physical risk factors, such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.

Results showed that subjects who experienced a major life event in the previous year had a four-fold increase in stroke risk. The odds were tripled for those with heart rhythm disturbances and daytime sleepiness. The chances of a stroke were doubled for individuals who smoked, drank at least two energy drinks a day or had type A personality traits, which include aggression, impatience and a quick temper.

Men were nine times more likely than women to have a stroke.

Individuals who wonder about their personal risks should consider taking a blood test to find out more.

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