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Risk of Recurrent Stroke and Death After First Stroke in Long-Distance Ski Race Participants
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2015 (English)In: Journal of the American Heart Association: Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease, ISSN 2047-9980, E-ISSN 2047-9980, Vol. 4, no 10, e002469Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Physical activity is of benefit for primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases, but it appears to increase the risk for atrial fibrillation. We aimed to study a cohort of patients following a first stroke in individuals with previous high physical activity, compare them to the general population with respect to recurrent stroke and death, and relate these to atrial fibrillation. Methods and Results: From the participants of the Vasaloppet, the world's largest ski-race, and matched individuals from the general population (n=708 604), we identified 5964 patients hospitalized with a first-time stroke between 1994 and 2010. Individuals with severe diseases were excluded. One half percent of skiers and 1% of nonskiers were hospitalized due to stroke. The incidence rate was 8.3 per 100 person-years among skiers and 11.1 among nonskiers. The hazard ratio (HR) for recurrent stroke or death between the 2 groups was 0.76 (95% CI 0.67 to 0.86). The result was consistent in subgroups. The HR for death was 0.66 (95% CI 0.56 to 0.78) and for recurrent stroke 0.82 (95% CI 0.70 to 0.96). After adjustment for smoking and socioeconomic factors, the HR for death was consistent at 0.70 (95% CI 0.56 to 0.87) while the HR for recurrent stroke was not statistically significant. Outcomes for skiers with atrial fibrillation tended to show a lower risk than for nonskiers. Conclusions: This large cohort study supports the hypothesis that patients with a stroke and with prior regular physical activity have a lower risk of death, while their risk for recurrent stroke is similar to that of nonskiers. The skiers had a higher incidence of atrial fibrillation, but still no increased risk of recurring stroke.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2015. Vol. 4, no 10, e002469
Keyword [en]
atrial fibrillation, cerebrovascular disease, cross-country skiing, epidemiology, lifestyle, physical tivity, prevention, recurrent stroke, sports medicine, Sweden, Vasaloppet
National Category
Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-112012DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.115.002469ISI: 000364153000039OAI: diva2:875090
Available from: 2015-11-30 Created: 2015-11-30 Last updated: 2016-01-22Bibliographically approved

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