Background: Lifestyle, including dietary patterns, could involve specific factors participating in inflammation that confer a higher risk of suffering a stroke. However, little attention has been apparently given to habitual food consumption in patients suffering a cerebrovascular event.
Objective: To assess the influence of dietary habits as well as other lifestyle-related variables on the risk of suffering a stroke.
Design: A case-control study was designed. Fifty-one cases (age: 59.1 ± 9.1y.o; BMI; 30.8 ± 3.4 kg/m2) and 51 controls (age: 61.1 ± 9.1y.o; BMI; 30.4 ± 3.6 kg/m2) were enrolled in the study. Anthropometric and body composition variables were measured. Dietary information was obtained from a validated food frequency questionnaire. Physical activity and lifestyle-related factors were assessed. Blood samples were drawn.
Results: Patients suffering a stroke showed higher prevalence of diabetes (30 vs. 7.7%; P = 0.020) and hypertension (74.5 vs. 40.3%; P < 0.001) and were less physically active (36.7 vs. 66.6%; P = 0.024) than controls. Patients registered worse glucose and lipid profiles, higher levels of hepatic biomarkers, and higher blood cell counts than controls. Stroked patients showed lower adherence to a statistically derived healthy dietary pattern than controls (23.5 vs. 42.3%; P = 0.017). A logistic regression model was built up considering hypertension, diabetes, smoking, physical activity, adherence to a 'healthy dietary pattern' and C-reactive protein concentration. The final model strongly associated with the risk of suffering a stroke (R2: 44.6%; Pmodel < 0.0001).
Conclusion: Lifestyle variables such as physical activity, smoking habit, and a dietary pattern including foods with low inflammatory potential play an important role in the reduction of the risk of suffering a stroke.
Keywords: C-reactive protein; Dietary patterns; Inflammation; Obesity; Physical activity; Stroke.