CALGARY: A new study has shown that
people who walk at least three to four hours per week, or bike at least two to
three hours per week, or the equivalent after having a stroke may have a 54 per
cent lower risk of death from any cause.
findings of the research were published in the online issue of the medical
found the most benefit for younger stroke survivors. When people under the age
of 75 exercised at least that amount, their risk of death was reduced by 80 per
better understanding of the role of physical activity in the health of people
who survive stroke is needed to design better exercise therapies and public
health campaigns so we can help these individuals live longer,” said study
author Raed A. Joundi, MD, DPhil, of the University of Calgary in Canada and a
member of the American Academy of Neurology.
results are exciting, because just three to four hours a week of walking was
associated with big reductions in mortality, and that may be attainable for
many community members with prior stroke,” added Joundi.
addition, we found people achieved even greater benefit with walking six to
seven hours per week. These results might have implications for guidelines for
stroke survivors in the future,” explained Joundi.
looked at 895 people with an average age of 72 who had a prior stroke and
97,805 people with an average age of 63 who had never had a stroke.
weekly physical activity was evaluated from questions about activities such as
walking, running, gardening, weight training, bicycling and swimming.
people were asked, “In the past three months, how many times did you walk
for exercise? About how much time did you spend on each occasion?”
used the frequency and duration of each type of physical activity to calculate
the amount of exercise. Researchers followed participants for an average of
about four and a half years.
accounting for other factors that could affect the risk of death, like age and
smoking, researchers found that 25 per cent of the people who had previous
strokes died from any cause, compared to 6 per cent of the people who had never
had a stroke.
stroke group, 15 per cent of the people who exercised at least the equivalent
of three to four hours of walking each week died during follow-up, compared to
33 per cent, who did not exercise that minimum amount.
group of people who had never had strokes, 4 per cent of the people who
exercised that amount died, compared to 8 per cent who did not.
found the largest reduction in the death rate among people who had a previous
stroke but were under 75 years of age.
group, 11 per cent of those who exercised at least the minimum amount died,
compared to 29 per cent who did not.
with previous stroke who were under 75 years of age and met the minimum level
of physical activity were about 80 per cent less likely to die during study
follow-up than those who did not.
over 75 years of age who exercised the minimum experienced less of a benefit
but were still 32 per cent less likely to die.
results suggest that getting a minimum amount of physical activity may reduce
long-term mortality from any cause in stroke survivors,” said Joundi.
should particularly emphasise this to stroke survivors who are younger in age,
as they may gain the greatest health benefits from walking just thirty minutes
each day,” concluded Joundi.