Diet High in Antioxidants Cuts Stroke Risk for Women

Reduction in total stroke for those without prior CVD; hemorrhagic stroke for those with history

THURSDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Following a diet with high total antioxidant capacity (TAC) is associated with reduced incidence of total stroke among women with no history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and hemorrhagic stroke in those with a CVD history, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in Stroke.

Sussane Rautiainen, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues studied the association between dietary TAC and stroke incidence in women aged 49 to 83 years. The participants included 31,035 CVD-free women and 5,680 women with a history of CVD at baseline, from the Swedish Mammography Cohort. A food frequency questionnaire was used for diet assessment; and oxygen radical absorbance capacity values were used to calculate dietary TAC. Linkage with the Swedish hospital discharge registry was used to ascertain stroke cases. The participants were followed up from September 1997 to December 2009.

The investigators found that, during follow-up, there were 1,322 strokes in the CVD-free group and 1,007 strokes among women with a CVD history. Comparing the highest with the lowest quintile of dietary TAC, for CVD-free women, the multivariable hazard ratio of total stroke was 0.83 (P for trend = 0.04). For women with a history of CVD, the multivariable hazard ratio for total stroke was 0.90 (95 percent CI, 0.75 to 1.07; P for trend = 0.30) and for hemorrhagic stroke, it was 0.55 (P for trend = 0.03).

"Our results suggest that TAC of the diet may be of importance for the prevention of total stroke among CVD-free women and hemorrhagic stroke among women with a CVD history," the authors write.

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