- Researchers have investigated how cardiovascular health interacts with high genetic risk of stroke.
- They found that optimal cardiovascular health reduced the risk of stroke among those with a high genetic risk.
- Basic lifestyle interventions, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising, and not smoking cigarettes, partially offset this risk.
Both genetic and environmental factors influence the risk of stroke. Managing cardiac metabolic risk factors and promoting healthy lifestyle behavior are
It wasn’t clear whether improved cardiovascular health might offset the genetic risk of stroke.
However, researchers recently found that maintaining optimal cardiovascular health can partially compensate for a higher genetic risk of stroke, reducing the overall risk of stroke.
The study appears in
“The general message is clear,” Dr. Tatjana RandikA professor of neuroscience and public health sciences at the University of Miami, he was not involved in the study Medical news today.
Regardless of the potential for carrying “bad” genetic risks, improving cardiovascular health should be a top public health priority. Promoting optimal cardiovascular health must begin at an early age, and many of us believe we should start with a healthy diet and exercise at birth.
For the study, researchers analyzed data on 11,568 middle-aged adults who were stroke-free at baseline, and followed them for an average of 28 years.
Their lifetime risk of stroke was estimated from genetic risk levels based on the approved polygenic stroke risk score and levels of cardiovascular health according to the American Heart Association.
The initial recommendations of “Life’s Simple 7” are:
- cholesterol control
- blood pressure control
- Control of blood sugar
- Physical activity
- healthy diet
- No smoking
- maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI).
Participants were assessed for “Life’s Simple 7” at the start of the study from a combination of self-reported and clinically assessed measures.
During the follow-up period, 1,138 participants were diagnosed with stroke. Of these, 14% had a low genetic risk, 41.7% had a medium genetic risk, and 44.3% had a high genetic risk.
The researchers further noted that participants with low scores on “Life’s Simple 7” experienced 56.8% of stroke events, while those with optimal “Life’s Simple 7” scores experienced 6.2% of strokes.
In all, they found that participants with the highest genetic risk and lowest “Life’s Simple 7” score had the highest lifetime risk of stroke, at 24.8%.
They further found that, of all polygenic risk score categories, those with an optimal ‘Life’s Simple 7’ score had a 30-43% lower risk of stroke than those with an inadequate ‘Life’s Simple 7’ score.
They note that this corresponds to an additional 6 years of stroke-free life in those with the highest genetic risk.
Professor Lu Chichair and distinguished professor in the department of epidemiology in the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, not involved in the study, said MNT:
“Life is Simple 7″ [has] Associated with lower genetic risk of cardiovascular disease including stroke in previous studies. Not surprisingly, an optimal ‘Life’s Simple 7’ score is associated with a lower risk of stroke due to genetic variation associated with genetic diversity.”
When asked how “Life’s Simple 7” could reduce the risk of genetic stroke.
Professor Rundick said:[t]The exact mechanism by which risk/lifestyle and genetic factors influence stroke risk is unknown and potentially complex.”
One way to explain how optimal cardiovascular health – ‘Life’s Simple 7’ – can reduce genetic stroke risk is to consider genetic susceptibility to stroke risk in the presence of harmful factors from Life’s Simple 7, because certain genes cannot be expressed. Except when it is activated by the presence of environmental factors or poor “Life’s Simple 7″ [scores for] Cardiovascular Health”.
If we reduce these environmental factors and achieve optimal cardiovascular health, Life’s Simple 7 [score] The stroke risk genes that we are likely to harbor will not be expressed as causing damage and contributing to an increased risk of stroke,” Professor Rundeck added.
The researchers concluded that maintaining optimal cardiovascular health could partially compensate for a higher genetic risk of stroke.
When asked about the study’s limitations, Professor Chi noted that because the study was of an observational nature, it is “limited to causal inference”.
Professor Christy M. BallantineD., chief of cardiology at Baylor University, who was also not involved in the study, further noted that:
The data for African Americans were not robust, and other racial and ethnic groups, such as Hispanics, South Asians, and East Asians, were not well represented in this study. Additional studies in other populations are needed to improve polygenic risk scores to be more useful in clinical practice for all of our patients.”
Professor Rundick added that:[i]It can be difficult to achieve and maintain the ideal “Life’s Simple 7” cardiovascular system. [score] If there is a strong individual genetic predisposition to stroke risk [which includes] Increased risk of infection Hypertension and the other “seven simple life” factors.
“In addition, there are some genetic markers – rare alleles – that are not included in the polygenic risk scores because they contribute to risk only a small amount. However, they may have a cumulative effect if they are present within the individual.” […] How changes in ‘simple life 7’ factors over time affect genetic risk is also an interesting question. She explained that all these matters need careful study in future studies.