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Healthy Women Half as Likely to Suffer Stroke

Update Date: Oct 08, 2014 04:13 PM EDT

Women who take care of themselves are more than half as likely to suffer strokes, according to a new study.

After analyzing diet, alcohol intake, smoking, fitness and body mass index, researchers found that women who followed a healthy lifestyle were more than 54 percent less likely to suffer strokes compared to their less wholesome counterparts.

The latest study involved 31,696 Swedish women with an average age of 60. They were asked to fill out a 350-item questionnaire about their diet and lifestyle, and monitored for an average of 10 years.

While most of the women had two or three of the healthy factors, only 589 women had all five healthy factors. Researchers noted that there were 1,554 strokes among participants, and that the risk steadily decreased with each additional healthy lifestyle.

"Because the consequences of stroke are usually devastating and irreversible, prevention is of great importance," study author Susanna C. Larsson, PhD, of the Karolinska Instituet in Stockholm, Sweden, said in a news release.

"These results are exciting because they indicate that a healthy diet and lifestyle can substantially reduce the risk of stroke, and these are lifestyle choices that people can make or improve," she said.

The findings are published in the journal Neurology.

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