Go to the top

New Study Reveals More Evidence Linking Obesity to Higher Stroke Risk

Posted on January 29, 2010

New study discusses link between obesity and higher stroke risk.

Prevention is the best medicine – including when it comes to stroke.  Dr. Demetrius Lopes, stroke treatment expert and endovascular neurosurgeon practicing at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago wants his patients and visitors to his website to understand the correlation between excess weight and the risk of stroke.

A new study released last week in the journal Stroke, reported that the more overweight you are, the more likely you are to suffer a stroke.  The study also strengthened the understanding of the connection between high blood pressure and diabetes, two conditions frequently found in the obese population, and stroke. 

The study, which followed 13,549 middle-aged Americans for 19 years, looked at stroke risk associated with several measures of obesity, emphasizing body mass index (BMI), which is a ratio of weight and height, but also such measures as waist circumference. Researchers from the University of Minnesota found that the risk of stroke was increased with each measure of obesity.

The study also outlined that the degree of increased risk of stroke varied with sex and ethnic group.  The risk was especially high for blacks, the study found. For example, the incidence of stroke was 1.2 per 1,000 person-years for white women and 4.3 per 1,000 person-years for black women. In the highest BMI category, rates ranged from 2.2 for white women to 8.0 for black men.

Dr. Lopes agrees with the study authors in outlining next steps.  Studies need to be conducted to better understand what the impact of treating obesity has on the incidence of stroke. If obesity has a direct correlation to stroke risk it will change the strategies employed by stroke specialists, including Dr. Lopes, on the prevention of stroke.

If you have questions regarding your risk of stroke please email Dr. Lopes at info@ChicagoStrokeMD.com.