Stroke risk may be lowered by drinking coffee and green tea, and following a healthy diet and lifestyle. Lead author of the study Yoshihiro Kokubo said, “This is the first large-scale study to examine the combined effects of both green tea and coffee on stroke risks. You may make a small but positive lifestyle change to help lower the risk of stroke by adding daily green tea to your diet.”
The researchers asked 83,269 Japanese adults about their coffee and green tea consumption and followed these participants for 13 years on average. The researchers found that a higher consumption of green tea and coffee was associated with a reduced stroke risk.
More specifically, those who consumed at least one cup of coffee a day had a 20 percent lower risk of stroke, compared to those who rarely consumed the beverage. People who drank two to three cups of green tea daily had a 14 percent reduced risk of stroke, and having at least four cups of green tea reduced the stroke risk by 20 percent. Those who drank at least one cup of coffee or two cups of green tea daily had a 32 percent lower risk of intracerebral hemorrhage, compared to those who rarely consumed either beverage.
Additionally, green tea drinkers were more likely to exercise, compared to non-drinkers, which could help further reduce the risk of stroke as well.
Kokuno explained, “… our self-reported data may be reasonably accurate, because nationwide annual health screenings produced similar results, and our validation study showed relatively high validity. The regular action of drinking tea, coffee, largely benefits cardiovascular health because it partly keeps blood clots from forming.”
Because coffee and tea are the most popular drinks after water worldwide, the researchers suggest that the findings may even translate to the American population as well.
Women who follow a healthy diet and lifestyle may cut their stroke risk by more than half, according to research studies. The researchers looked at five factors of a healthy lifestyle: healthy diet, moderate alcohol consumption, not smoking, physical activity, and a healthy body mass index (BMI). The researchers compared women based on these five lifestyle factors and found that those women who had all five factors had a 54 percent lower risk of stroke, compared to women who had none.
Study author Susanna C. Larsson said, “Because the consequences of stroke are usually devastating and irreversible, prevention is of great importance. These results are exciting because they indicate that a healthy diet and lifestyle can substantially reduce the risk of stroke, and these are lifestyle choices that people can make or improve.”
The study collected survey responses from 31,696 women with an average age of 60. The questionnaire consisted of 350 questions regarding diet and lifestyle habits. Majority of the women had two or three of the healthy lifestyle factors, and only 589 women had all five. On the other hand, 1,535 women had none of the healthy lifestyle factors.
Of the group, 1,554 women had a stroke. With each additional healthy lifestyle factor, the risk of stroke was found to decrease.
Although the researchers found that these lifestyle habits can reduce the risk of stroke, none of these habits were associated with a reduced risk of hemorrhagic stroke, which accounts for 15 to 20 percent of strokes and occurs when there is bleeding in and around the brain.