Obesity and Type of Stroke
The effect of obesity on the two types of stroke namely ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke
was analyzed in a study conducted in the UK.
‘Control weight to reduce risk of stroke.’
1.3 million women in the United Kingdom with an average age of 57 were
followed over a period of 12 years. During this time 20,549 had a stroke.
Among the 344,534 women who had a healthy
(BMI between 22.5 and 25), 0.7
(2,253) suffered an ischemic stroke and 0.5 percent
had a hemorrhagic stroke.
228,274 obese women
(BMI 30 or
more), 1.0 percent (2,393) suffered an
ischemic stroke and 0.4 percent (910) suffered a hemorrhagic stroke
"We found that the risk of ischemic stroke, which is
associated with a blockage of blood flow to the brain and is the most common
stroke subtype, is increased in overweight and obese women
. By contrast,
the risk of hemorrhagic stroke, which is
associated with bleeding into the brain, is decreased in overweight and obese
," said study author Gillian Reeves, PhD, with the University of
Oxford, United Kingdom. "Our findings add to the growing body of evidence that
different types of stroke have different risk profiles."
Stroke in Brief
can occur when the
blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot (ischemic
) or ruptures (hemorrhagic
). When that happens, the affected part of the brain dies due to lack
Stroke is a medical emergency and needs prompt institution of treatment
to minimize brain damage and reduce the risk of complications.
Majority of strokes (nearly 85%) are ischemic strokes and the rest are
Transient Ischemic Attacks
(TIA) occur when the supply of blood to the brain is temporarily interrupted, leading to a "mini-stroke" that may last between 30
minutes to several hours. These have to regarded seriously and are often a sign
of a full blown stroke in the near future.
Increasing BMI to Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Stroke
The study showed the following relationship between increasing BMI and
the two types of stroke.
Every five-unit increase in BMI increased the risk of ischemic stroke by
21 percent. In the case of hemorrhagic stroke, every five unit increase in BMI
decreased the risk of stroke by 12 percent.
The scientists also combined results from previously published studies
on the subject. The collected data from worldwide available evidence confirmed
that the risks associated with an
increasing BMI are consistently greater for ischemic than for hemorrhagic
The body mass index
) or Quetelet index
is derived from the height and weight
of an individual. It is defined as the body mass divided by
the square of the height, and is universally expressed in units of kg/m2
, derived from mass in kilograms and height in metres.
aims to quantify the amount of tissue mass (muscle, fat, and bone) in an
individual in order to categorize the person as underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese
based on that value.
accepted BMI ranges
under 18.5 kg/m2
, normal weight: 18.5 to 25, overweight: 25 to
30, obese: over 30.
Between Obesity and Stroke
Kathryn Rexrode, MD, MPH, from Brigham and Women's
Hospital in Boston, wrote an accompanying editorial on the study. She sounded a
note of caution that the lower risk of hemorrhagic stroke did not mean that
overweight and obese women had a reduced risk of stroke overall.
"Higher body mass index, or BMI, was associated with increased risk of
total stroke in every category
and the number of
ischemic strokes was higher than the number of hemorrhagic stroke in every
So higher BMI was not associated with protection or reduced risk of
total stroke," she said. "Obesity is a
substantial stroke risk factor for all ages and even more alarming for young
Tips to Control Weight
- Eat fiber rich and filling foods when
- Avoid binging on sweets and desserts.
Don't store at home
- Count calories while eating. Limit to
less than 1800 calories per day and restrict fat.
- Have a diet plan and stick to it.
- Try increasing workout time. More
workout, more calories burned. A minimum of 30 minutes of physical
activity 5 days a week is advised.
- Build lean muscle as muscle has higher
rate of metabolism.
- Measure portions before eating,
especially for fatty foods.
- Weigh yourself daily to prevent that
- Include dairy in the daily diet. Eating
at least three servings of dairy helped keep the weight off than persons
who ate one serving or less. For women, it helps bone health too.
- Use the plate method for guidance -
plainly put, half your plate should be vegetables and the rest should be
divided evenly between lean protein and whole grains. For second helpings,
limit yourself to vegetables, fruit or low-fat dairy.
- Watch less Television
- Never miss breakfast as it helps with
long term weight loss. Healthy breakfast such as oatmeal or a fruit
platter is advised.
- What is Stroke? - (http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/About-Stroke_UCM_308529_SubHomePage.jsp)
- About Stroke - (http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stroke/Pages/Introduction.aspx)
- Body mass index - (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_mass_index)