Stroke risk in senior citizens can be reduced by up to 50% with light exercise, a recent study reports.
Specifically, all it takes is any form of light exercise for 35 minutes each day. This is effective in reducing the risk for a moderate to severe stroke.
Stroke: Scary Statistics
According to the CDC (Centers For Disease Control), statistics for this disease are devastating.
- It kills 140,000 Americans each year,—that’s 1 out of every 20 deaths.
- It occurs every 40 seconds. Every 4 minutes, someone dies of it.
- Every year, 795,000 people in the United States get it.
- 87% of all strokes are ischemic, in which blood flow to the brain is blocked.
- The costs of this disease is an estimated $34 billion each year. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and missed days of work.
- It is a leading cause of serious long-term disability. It reduces quality of life in more than half of survivors age 65 and over.
Stroke: Study Results
Scientists evaluated the records of 900 stroke patients with an average age of 73.
The results showed that patients who were inactive before their stroke, increased their risks by a factor of 2, compared to active patients.
These findings were published in the academic journal, Biology.
For the purposes of this study, “active” patients was defined as exercising four or more hours a week with light physical activity. This included walking, swimming, or running. Mild strokes do not cause permanent brain damage or brain tissue death, whereas the effects of moderate or severe strokes are chronic.
Senior citizens are at high risk. Even mild exercise several days a week can improve their chances of avoiding it.
With moderate or severe strokes a significant risk for seniors, these findings are key to a long-term prevention policy.