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Study Calculates Risk of Stroke Related to Consumption of Different Foods

There are two major types of stroke, ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic stroke is the most common and is caused by a blood clot that blocks or plugs a blood vessel in the brain or by narrowing of the arteries. Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel breaks and bleeds into the brain. A recent study has calculated associations between consumption of certain foods and dietary fiber and the risk of ischemic or hemorrhagic strokes.

Participants in the study included 418,329 adults who were followed for an average of 12.7 years. Questionnaires regarding habitual food intake over the past year were used to assess intakes of major food groups and subgroups. All incidences of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke were recorded. Cox proportional hazards regression were used to calculate hazard ratios for each food group or fiber intake.

In general, stroke risk was lower for those who consumed less cheese, cereals, fruit and vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. In contrast, stroke risk was higher for those who consumed more red meat, processed meat and milk.

For ischemic stroke, every 7 ounces higher consumption of fruits and vegetables was associated with a 13% lower risk and every 10-gram higher consumption of total dietary fiber was associated with a 23% lower risk. Lower risk was also associated with higher consumption of cheese and yogurt. Higher risk was associated with more consumption of red meat

For hemorrhagic stroke, every .7 ounces of additional eggs consumed daily was associated with a 25% higher risk. As with ischemic stroke, lower risk was associated with higher consumption of cheese and yogurt and higher risk was associated with more consumption of red meat.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Oxford and Aarhus University. It was published online ahead of print on February 24, 2020 in the European Heart Journal.

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