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People who consider themselves physically inactive are at increased risk of stroke.

Analyzing data collected in the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study involving 30,239 Americans, ages 45 years and over, with follow-up every six months for stroke events. Michelle N. McDonnell, from the University of South Australia (Australia), and colleagues found that 33 percent of the subjects reported a lack of physical activity, which associated with a hazard ratio of 1.2. While there was no significant association between physical activity frequency and risk of stroke by sex groups, there was a trend toward increased risk for men reporting physical activity of zero to 3-times a week, as compared with those who were active four or more-times a week. The study authors warn that: "Self-reported low [physical activity] frequency is associated with increased risk of incident stroke."


  1. McDonnell MN, Hillier SL, Hooker SP, Le A, Judd SE, Howard VJ. "Physical Activity Frequency and Risk of Incident Stroke in a National US Study of Blacks and Whites." Stroke. 2013 Jul 18.