Monday, April 5, 2010

Lose Weight to Slash Your Stroke Risk

Source: Reuters Health (Summary by NIM)

Being overweight is bad for your health. That shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone and yet some people just aren't getting the message. Overweight individuals are at a higher risk of many life-threatening diseases and conditions, and a new study has confirmed that being overweight also increases the risk of stroke.

This new study from the Frederico II University of Naples Medical School in Naples, Italy has found that the heavier a person is, the greater their chance of suffering a stroke becomes. Strokes happen when the blood supply to the brain is blocked by plaques formed along artery walls due to greater than normal amounts of fat and cholesterol floating around in the blood supply. Since the arteries become so narrow, the blood pressure in those vessels skyrockets. Thanks to that fast-moving blood acting like a power-washer, little pieces of those arterial plaques break off, shooting debris into the brain and blocking it's blood supply. Not a pretty picture nor a pleasant experience.

The study included more than 2.3 million individuals and found that overweight people were 22 percent more likely to suffer a stroke than normal weight people while obese people were a whopping 64 percent more likely to suffer a stroke! According to one of the researchers, Dr. Pasquale Strazzullo, "All of us should keep tight control of our weight and take immediate action in case of weight gain, reducing calories and increasing physical exercise,"

Find out more about this study by reading the article called "Being overweight ups stroke risk, study confirms" from Reuters Health (Apr. 5, 2010).