Background: The joint effects of different lifestyle factors on stroke risk are still to some extent unclear, especially regarding hemorrhagic stroke.
Methods: We prospectively investigated the association of different indicators of lifestyle (smoking, body mass index, physical activity, and vegetable and alcohol consumption) with total and type-specific stroke incidence among 36 686 Finnish participants who were 25 to 74 years old and free of coronary heart disease and stroke at baseline.
Results: During a mean follow-up period of 13.7 years, 1478 people developed an incident stroke event (1167 ischemic and 311 hemorrhagic). The multivariate-adjusted (age, sex, education, family history of stroke, history of diabetes mellitus, systolic blood pressure, and serum total cholesterol level) hazard ratios associated with adherence to 0 to 1 (reference group), 2, 3, 4, and 5 healthy lifestyle indicators were 1, 0.66, 0.57, 0.51, and 0.33 (P < .001 for trend) for total stroke; 1, 0.67, 0.60, 0.50, and 0.30 (P < .001 for trend) for ischemic stroke; and 1, 0.63, 0.49, 0.49, and 0.40 (P < .001 for trend) for hemorrhagic stroke, respectively. These inverse associations were similar in both men and women. The partial population attributable risk percentages associated with adherence to 3, 4, and 5 healthy lifestyle indicators were 26.3%, 43.8%, and 54.6% for total stroke; 22.7%, 45.3%, and 59.7% for ischemic stroke; and 35.0%, 35.0%, and 36.1% for hemorrhagic stroke, respectively.
Conclusion: Healthy lifestyle factors are associated with a lower risk of stroke, and there is a graded inverse association between the number of healthy lifestyle indicators and the risks of total, ischemic, and hemorrhagic stroke.