However, an unfavourable lifestyle was associated with a 66 per cent increased risk of stroke compared with a favourable lifestyle, and this increased risk was present within any genetic risk category. A high genetic risk combined with an unfavourable lifestyle profile was associated with a more than two-fold increased risk of stroke compared with a low genetic risk and a favourable lifestyle.
The study, published in the journal BMJ, included 3,06,473 white men and women aged between 40 and 73 years who had no history of stroke or heart attack. Adherence to a healthy lifestyle was based on four factors: non-smoker, diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fish, not overweight or obese (body mass index less than 30), and regular physical exercise. Among the lifestyle factors, the most significant associations were seen for smoking and being overweight or obese, the researchers said