Previous study, Northern Manhattan Cohort Study, has shown that an elevated waist circumference increased the risk of MI and vascular death. However, a new study published in the January 21, 2010 issue of Stroke indicated that obesity is also a significant risk factor for ischemic stroke.
The study which looked at 13,549 participants aged 46 to 64 years old participating in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study for 18 years, discovered that patients in the highest obesity category has twice the risk of stroke than those in the lowest category.
The result is consistent whether the investigators used body-mass index (BMI), waist circumference or waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). Also, blacks had two to three times higher incidence of ischemic stroke than whites.
This study reinforces that controlling obesity may prevent not only hypertension, diabetes and heart attack, but also stroke.