Statins: How the drug prevents heart attacks and strokes
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A recent study published in Age and Ageing, projected the prevalence of stroke to increase by 60 percent between 2015 and 2013, raising questions about how the already stretched NHS will cope. Furthermore, survival rates from stroke are expected to double. Major breakthroughs in treatment and care and brought novel target therapies and preventative measures to the fore. One new study has added to the growing body of research, suggesting that eating just four to five peanuts a day could lower the risk of stroke.
The Asian study has suggested that eating peanuts could lower the risk of having an ischemic stroke or a cardiovascular disease compared to those who did not eat peanuts.
Lead author Satoyo Ikehara, said: “We showed for the first time a reduced risk for ischemic stroke incidence associated with higher peanut consumption in an Asian population.
“Our results suggest that adding peanuts to your diet has a beneficial effect on the prevention of ischemic stroke.”
Peanuts contain nutrients which are known to act as a buffer against heart complications.
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Ikehara added: “Monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, minerals, vitamins and dietary fibre help lower risk of cardiovascular disease by reducing risk factors, including high blood pressure, high blood levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol and chronic inflammation.”
To further understand the association between peanut intake and stroke risk, researchers recruited a total of 74,000 Asian men and women, aged 45 to 74.
Participants were required to complete a comprehensive lifestyle survey, which included a questionnaire about the frequency of peanut consumption.
During the follow-up period of 15 years, the incidence of stroke and ischemic heart disease were determined through hospital records.
The findings revealed that eating about four to five unshelled peanuts per day was associated with 20 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke, compared to a peanut-free diet.
Furthermore, eating four to five peanuts could cut the total risk of stroke by 16 percent and the risk of cardiovascular disease by 13 percent.
Ikehara added: “The beneficial effect of peanut consumption on risk of stroke, especially ischemic stroke was found, despite the small quantity of peanuts eaten by study participants.
“Adding even a small amount to one’s diet could be a simple yet effective approach to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.”
There are more than 100,000 strokes in Britain each year, 85 percent of which are ischemic.
This type of stroke is caused by a blockage in the artery which cuts off the blood supply to the brain.
Hemorrhagic strokes, on the other hand, occur when there is bleeding in the brain that damages surrounding cells, and accounts for 15 percent of stroke incidents.
Speaking of the expected rise in stroke rates in coming years, deputy director of policy and influencing at the Stroke Association, said: “The predicted rise in the burden of stroke is largely due to our ageing population, as the risk of having a stroke increases as you get older.”
Despite these projections, figures show that death rates from stroke have fallen steadily over the course of the past decade.
A 2019 study found that deaths from stroke in England have halved in the space of one decade.
Richard Francis, Head of Research at the Stroke Association, said: “There are 1.3 million stroke survivors in the UK, and this figure is set to increase to over two million by 20135.
“The reduced mortality rate for stroke is worth celebrating – there are hundreds of thousands of people in the UK who wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the leaps and bounds in our understanding of acute treatment for stroke.”
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