One U.S. expert in stroke care said more needs to be done to help people who survive a stroke get active.
“It is important that stroke neurologists enroll their patients in exercise programs, because encouraging exercise/physical activity may not be sufficient,” noted Dr. Andrew Rogove, who wasn’t involved in the new research. He directs stroke care at Northwell Health’s South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y.
The new study included nearly 900 stroke survivors, average age 72, and more than 97,800 people, average age 63, who had never had a stroke. All of the participants were followed for an average of about 4.5 years.
After accounting for other factors that could influence the risk of death (such as age and smoking), the researchers found that 25% of the stroke survivors and 6% of those who’d never had a stroke died from any cause during follow-up.
Among the stroke survivors, 15% of the people who exercised at least the equivalent of three to four hours of walking each week died, compared to 33% of those who didn’t get at least that much exercise, Joundi’s group reported.
The bottom line: “Our results suggest that getting a minimum amount of physical activity may reduce long-term mortality from any cause in stroke survivors,” Joundi said.