“Our findings indicate that people can lower their stroke risk by attempting to reduce the stress in their lives,” says researcher Ana Maria Garcia, MD, of the Hospital Clinico Universitario San Carlos in Madrid.
The study included 150 people who'd had strokes and 300 randomly selected people who had not had strokes.
The average age of the participants was 54, which is much younger than the typical stroke patient.
Garcia says that studying the impact of stress on stroke was easier in younger people who'd had strokes because they were less likely to have health issues like high blood pressure that have been linked to stroke.
All the participants were assessed for these known stroke risk factors. They were also asked about life stressors and other lifestyle factors that may impact stroke risk, such as alcohol use, coffee and energy drink use, and smoking history.