Over and Under Nutrition Tied to Increased Stroke Risk

Some evidence suggests dietary patterns impact stroke risk; reduced risk tied to prudent diets

TUESDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence suggests that under and over nutrition increase the risk of stroke, and questions the role of antioxidant, vitamin, and calcium supplements, according to a review published in the January issue of The Lancet Neurology.

Graeme J. Hankey, M.B.B.S., M.D., from the Royal Perth Hospital in Australia reviewed the literature to investigate the association of nutrition and diet with the risk of stroke.

The investigator found that poor nutrition in the first years of a woman's life was associated with an increased risk of stroke in the mother's offspring. Under-nutrition at all stages of life (in utero, infancy, childhood, and adulthood) predisposed a person to stroke later in life. Over-nutrition was also associated with an elevated risk of stroke. Reliable evidence suggested that antioxidant vitamins, B vitamins, and calcium supplementation were not associated with a decreased risk of stroke. Dietary patterns were seen to have an impact on stroke risk; less reliable evidence suggested that prudent diets, aligned to the Mediterranean or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diets (which are low in salt and added sugars, high in potassium, and do not exceed energy requirements), reduced the risk of stroke.

"The overall quality of an individual's diet (i.e., dietary pattern) and balance between energy intake and expenditure seem to be more important determinants of stroke risk than individual nutrients and foods," the author writes.

The study author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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