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Exercise Reduces Likelihood of Severe Stroke

More pre-stroke exercise associated with better outcomes

TUESDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke patients who were physically active before their stroke are more likely to have had a less severe stroke and more likely to have better outcomes, according to study findings published in the Oct. 21 issue of Neurology.

Lars-Henrik Krarup, M.D., from Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues retrospectively surveyed pre-stroke exercise levels during a seven-day period from 265 patients with a first-ever ischemic stroke who were participating in a randomized trial to receive repeated instructions and encouragement to increase their exercise level, or standard care and information on the benefits of exercise.

The researchers found that patients with higher levels of pre-stroke physical activity were more likely to have had a less severe stroke (odds ratio 2.54 comparing the highest and lowest quartiles) and had a lower likelihood of a poor outcome (odds ratio 0.46 comparing the same two groups).

"In the present study physical activity prior to stroke was associated with a less severe stroke and better long-term outcome," Krarup and colleagues conclude.

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