Toronto: Ten common risk factors trigger more than 90 percent of strokes, a new research reveals.
The Canadian-led study appears in The Lancet.
The researchers, led by Salim Yusuf of the Michael G DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, found that high blood pressure was the greatest risk factor while smoking, obesity (particularly around the belly), inactivity and stress also pose significant dangers.
It was noted that a large percentage of people who suffered ischemic stroke also had high levels of lipids (or fat) in their blood.
The study analysed both ischemic stroke, wherein a clot blocks blood flow to the brain, and hemorrhagic stroke, in which a blood vessel ruptures.
The project, dubbed Interstroke, was carried out between March 2007 and April 2010.
It involved over 6,000 people in 22 countries, half of whom suffered a stroke.
"Stroke prevention programs targeting these common risk factors will have a significant impact in reducing the incidence of disease," The Globe and Mail quoted Antoine Hakim, CEO and scientific director of the Canadian Stroke Network, as saying.
Dr Yusuf agreed and pointed out that the risk factors for stroke are quite similar to those for heart disease.