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Mediterranean diet outperformed low-fat diet in study

After five years of the six-year Spanish study into diets, 288 study participants among the 7,500 older "at-risk" adults suffered a heart attack or stroke or died of a type of cardiovascular disease.

Those on both Mediterranean diets were 28 to 30 per cent less likely to develop such health problems those on the general low-fat diet, researchers from the Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona found.

Of those suffering health problems:

  • 96 were in the olive oil-heavy Mediterranean dietary group (3.4% of participants)
  • 83 were in the nut-heavy Mediterranean dietary group (3.4% of participants)
  • 109 were in the low-fat dietary group (4.4% of participants)

More than one million stroke survivors suffer disabilities

  • Every year, over 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke, costing the country more than £8 billion
  • More than half of the estimated 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK suffer from disabilities affecting their daily lives
  • A stroke causes damage to the brain, from blocked arteries or bleeding from blood vessels
  • Up to 30 per cent of strokes are caused by Cardioembolic strokes, they are extremely severe, caused by a clot that originates in the heart and travels to the brain


Stroke gene: 'New target for potential treatments'

The discovery of a mutant gene, could be the answer to reducing the risk of a stroke and preventing disability, scientists have said.

The discovery of the association between this genetic variant and stroke identifies a new target for potential treatments which could help reduce the risk of stroke in the future.

It is also significant that no association was found with small vessel disease, as this suggests that stroke sub-types involve different genetic mechanisms which emphasises the need for individualised treatments.

– Dr Frances Williams, lead researcher from King's College London

Research into stroke gene could save lives

Scientists have discovered a new gene that could save lives and prevent disability from a stroke.

People with a mutant form of the ABO gene (which determines blood groups), are more likely to have certain types of stroke, they said.

The new gene could save lives and prevent disability from a stroke Credit: Hugh Macknight/PA Wire

Researchers identified differences within the gene, linked to blood clotting, one of the main causes of a stroke.

'Fish is good for our general health', says researcher

Eating oily fish has already been linked to other health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease.

The Food Standards Agency recommends that everyone should eat at least two 140g portions of fish a week, including one portion of oily fish.

From past research we know that eating plenty of fish is good for our general health.

This research shows that it could also help to protect us against stroke. However, it's interesting to see that taking fish oil supplements doesn't have the same beneficial effect.

People who eat lots of fish may have healthier diets in general which could go some way to explain the results. However, a lot more research is needed in this area before we decide to eat fish every day of the week.

– Dr Peter Coleman, deputy director of research at the Stroke Association

Research suggests eating oily fish could prevent strokes

Research suggests that eating two portions of oily fish a week could help prevent a stroke.

An international team of researchers, including academic Dr Rajiv Chowdhury, examined the association between oily fish, which are a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids, and the risk of strokes or mini-strokes.

They looked at 38 studies involving almost 800,000 people across 15 countries, and examined participants' fish and long chain omega 3 fatty acid consumption. During the studies, a total of 34,817 strokes and mini strokes were recorded.

After adjusting for several risk factors, participants eating two to four servings a week had a 6% lower risk of stroke compared with those who consumed one portion or less every week, the study found.


Oily fish could help prevent strokes

Eating two portions of oily fish a week could help ward off a stroke, research suggests.

Scientists have found that eating two helpings of oily fish - such as salmon, trout or mackerel - every week could moderately reduce risk of a stroke.

However, fish oil supplements do not have the same beneficial effect as oily fish such as kippers, sardines, fresh tuna or whitebait, the study found.

Too many stroke patients 'treated too slowly'

We are making steady progress towards achieving the standards set, but there a still too many patients who are being treated too slowly with unacceptable variability around the country. Care should be focused in centres that are well-organised and experienced in performing carotid endarterectomy surgery.

– Professor Tony Rudd, Royal College of Physicians Clinical Effectiveness and Evaluation Unit
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