Overweight affects different types of stroke in different ways
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide and this study found that overweight women are at an increased risk of ischaemic stroke – associated with blockages of blood in the brain, but at a decreased risk of haemorrhagic stroke – associated with bleeding and the more deadly type of stroke. This study, published in Neurology, included a large sample size of almost 1.3 million women from the UK over an average period of 11.7 years using data obtained from hospital admissions. It was found that for every 5 unit increase in BMI, the risk of ischaemic stroke increased by 21%, whereas the risk of haemorrhagic stroke increased by 12%.
Although overweight women had a lower risk of haemorrhagic stroke this did not relate to an overall reduced risk, a higher BMI was associated with increased risk of total stroke across all categories, with the number of ischaemic strokes higher than the number of haemorrhagic stroke in every category as well. The results from this study were found to be largely similar to previous studies examining the same factors.