World Bulletin / News Desk
While the current study, which appeared in the journal Stroke, cannot prove that regular walking caused the fewer strokes, it contributes to a small body of evidence for potential relationships between specific kinds of exercise and risk for specific diseases.
Past studies have also linked physical activity to fewer strokes, which can be caused by built-up plaque in arteries or ruptured blood vessels in the brain.
"The message for the general population remains similar: regularly engaging in moderate recreational activity is good for your health," lead author Jose Maria Huerta of the Murcia Regional Health Authority inSpain told Reuters Health.
women who walked briskly for 210 minutes or more per week had a lower stroke risk than inactive women but also lower than those who cycled and did other higher-intensity workouts for a shorter amount of time.
In all, nearly 33,000 men and women answered a physical activity questionnaire given once in the mid-1990s as part of a larger European cancer project. For their study, Huerta and his team divided participants by gender, exercise type and total time spent exercising each week.
The authors checked in with participants periodically to record any strokes. During the 12-year follow-up period, a total of 442 strokes occurred among the men and women.
The results for women who were regular walkers translated to a 43 percent reduction in stroke risk compared to the inactive group, Huerta said. There was no reduction seen for men based on exercise type or frequency.
"We have no clear explanation for this," Huerta wrote in an email. He hypothesized that the men may have entered the study in better physical condition than the women, but there was no evidence to support that guess.
Huerta also declined to compare the study participants' risk levels to those of the general population, citing the subjects' unusual characteristics. A majority of men and women in the study were blood donors, for example, and blood donors tend to be in good health.
"I wouldn't make much of the results because they are for a very specific population," said Wilson Cuerva of the University of Chicago, who was not involved with the research.
Cuerva pointed out that the study relied too heavily on subjective measurements, such as the participants' memory of exercise routines, and there was no objective way to measure how much exercise they actually did.
While he noted that it is difficult to draw any conclusions from the Spanish study, he said people should try to follow recommendations for two and a half hours of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, every week.
"We know that exercise is related to reduced risk of stroke and other diseases," he said.
Using alternative sources to firewood as opened the path for one Kenyan factory to reduce energy costs and save the environment
A vaccine developed by researchers has shown promising results with a trial tests showing 100% protection against Ebola
Low lying areas in the Sundarbans region has forced many mothers to join fathers away from home to work, leaving little choice for their children but to take refuge in hostels away from family.
World Wildlife Fund communications manager says plan could come to fruition by 2020, but depends on final gov’t approval
Meteorologists expect El Nino effects to delay the rainy season as dry conditions force locals to pray for rain
Hawaii has become the first American state to ban the use of plastic bags.
Gene therapy for cystic fibrosis has for the first time shown slight but significant benefit on lung function, new British research reveals.
A new study has determined that soda drinks are responsible for more than 184,000 deaths with nearly 80% occurring in low to middle income countries
The plight of these urban areas show how dire the coming global freshwater shortage could get.
Coin-sized band analyzes blood glucose levels and releases insulin when needed
A WHO report has found that the use of lindane and DDT are linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Pope Francis has said that the emissions trading is a ploy to allow wealthy emitters to continue their work
Russian sewerage dump is responsible for declining fish stock in the Baltic seas.
A new cancer drug will be tested as part of a joint effort by AstraZeneca and Lilly.
Smart technology and regulation will aid challenges in global power sector, helping to lower the carbon emitted globally.
A deal between the richest nations in the world has been seen as unlikely, as OECD seeks to phase out export credits.