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Stroke: top 10 risks in developing countries

INTERSTROKE, a standardised case control study (n=3000) looked for the most important stroke risk factors in low income countries. Hypertension was the most important (OR 2.64, 99% CI 2.26 to 3.08), with current smoking (OR 2.09) and waist to hip ratio (OR 1.65) close behind. Other high risk scores were for diet and physical activity, diabetes mellitus, alcohol, psychosocial stress, depression, cardiac causes and apolipoprotein B:A1 ratio. Targeted interventions in the developing world to reduce blood pressure and smoking, and to promote physical activity and a healthy diet, are needed to reduce the global burden of stroke.

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