You are what you eat: dietary risk factors for stroke

  • Eur Heart J

  • curated by Dawn O'Shea
  • UK Medical News
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Different types of food are linked to risks of different types of stroke, according to a study published in the European Heart Journal today (Monday, 24 Feb).

Until now, most studies have looked at the association between food and total stroke or have focused on ischaemic stroke only. The current study of 418,329 men and women from 22 centres in nine European countries investigated ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke separately.

The study found that while higher intakes of fruit, vegetables, fibre, milk, cheese or yoghurt were each linked to a lower risk of ischaemic stroke, there was no significant association with a lower risk of haemorrhagic stroke. However, greater consumption of eggs was associated with a higher risk of haemorrhagic stroke, but not with ischaemic stroke.

Total fibre intake was associated with the greatest potential reduction in the risk of ischaemic stroke. Every 10g more intake of fibre a day was associated with a 23 per cent lower risk, which is equivalent to around two fewer cases per 1,000 of the population over 10 years.

Every 200g more of fruit and vegetables daily was associated with a 13 per cent lower risk, which is equivalent to one less case per 1000 of the population over 10 years.

No foods were linked to a statistically significant higher risk of ischaemic stroke.

The study found that for every extra 20g of eggs consumed a day there was a 25 per cent higher risk of haemorrhagic stroke, equivalent to 0.66 extra cases per 1,000 over 10 years.