Low education, smoking, high blood pressure may lead to increased stroke risk

August 14, 2014, American Heart Association

Adults smokers with limited education face a greater risk of stroke than those with a higher education, according to new research in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke.

The combination of smoking and increased stroke risk the most, confirming earlier findings in numerous studies.

In a multicenter Danish study, researchers defined lower education as grade school or lower secondary school (maximum of 10 years) education.

"We found it is worse being a current smoker with lower education than a current smoker with a higher education," said Helene Nordahl, Ph.D., M.S.C., study lead author and researcher at the Department of Public Health at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. "Targeted interventions aimed at reducing smoking and high blood pressure in lower socioeconomic groups would yield a greater reduction in stroke than targeting the same behaviors in higher socioeconomic groups."

Researchers divided 68,643 adults (30-70 years old) into low, medium and high education levels and assessed smoking and high blood pressure levels. They found:

  • Sixteen percent of men and 11 percent of women were at high-risk of stroke due to low education level, smoking and high blood pressure.
  • Men were more at risk of stroke than women, and the risk of stroke increased with age.
  • Ten percent of the high-risk men and 9 percent of the high-risk women had an during the study's 14-year follow-up.
  • Smokers with low education had a greater risk of stroke than smokers with high education regardless of their blood pressure.

"Universal interventions such as legislation or taxation could also have a strong effect on stroke in the most disadvantaged," Nordahl said. "We need to challenge disparities in unhealthy behaviors, particularly smoking."

Researchers weren't able to consider differences associated with ethnicity because 98 percent of the participants were Danes.

"The distribution of stroke risk factors may vary across various contexts and study populations," Nordahl said. "However, since the most disadvantaged groups are often exposed to a wide number of , it seems plausible that these people are at higher risk of not only in Denmark, but also in other industrialized countries."

Explore further: Stroke risk similar among men and women smokers worldwide

Related Stories

Stroke risk similar among men and women smokers worldwide

August 22, 2013
Smoking cigarettes may cause similar stroke risks for men and women, but women smokers may be at greater risk for a more deadly and uncommon type of stroke, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal ...

Meta-analysis: Any blood pressure reading above normal may increase risk of stroke

March 12, 2014
Anyone with blood pressure that's higher than the optimal 120/80 mmHg may be more likely to have a stroke, according to a new meta-analysis published in the March 12, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of ...

Cocaine may increase stroke risk within 24 hours of use

February 12, 2014
Cocaine greatly increases ischemic stroke risk in young adults within 24 hours of use, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2014.

Diet higher in protein may be linked to lower risk of stroke

June 11, 2014
People with diets higher in protein, especially from fish, may be less likely to have a stroke than those with diets lower in protein, according to a meta-analysis published in the June 11, 2014, online issue of Neurology, ...

Slowing brain functions linked to increased risk of stroke, death

August 7, 2014
Cognitive abilities such as memory and attention are not only important after a stroke but also before; according to research published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

New genetic variant linked to risk of stroke and heart attack

July 4, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Researchers at King's College London have identified a genetic variant associated with an increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

Recommended for you

A nanoparticle inhalant for treating heart disease

January 18, 2018
A team of researchers from Italy and Germany has developed a nanoparticle inhalant for treating people suffering from heart disease. In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the group describes ...

Starting periods before age of 12 linked to heightened risk of heart disease and stroke

January 15, 2018
Starting periods early—before the age of 12—is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published online in the journal Heart.

'Decorated' stem cells could offer targeted heart repair

January 10, 2018
Although cardiac stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for heart attack patients, directing the cells to the site of an injury - and getting them to stay there - remains challenging. In a new pilot study using an animal ...

Two simple tests could help to pinpoint cause of stroke

January 10, 2018
Detecting the cause of the deadliest form of stroke could be improved by a simple blood test added alongside a routine brain scan, research suggests.

Exercise is good for the heart, high blood pressure is bad—researchers find out why

January 10, 2018
When the heart is put under stress during exercise, it is considered healthy. Yet stress due to high blood pressure is bad for the heart. Why? And is this always the case? Researchers of the German Centre for Cardiovascular ...

Heart-muscle patches made with human cells improve heart attack recovery

January 10, 2018
Large, human cardiac-muscle patches created in the lab have been tested, for the first time, on large animals in a heart attack model. This clinically relevant approach showed that the patches significantly improved recovery ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.