HealthDay News — Individuals younger than 60 years with low physical activity (PA) have an increased stroke risk in association with excess sedentary time of at least eight hours per day, according to a study published online Aug. 19 in Stroke.

Raed A. Joundi, M.D., D.Phil., from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, and colleagues created a cohort of 143,180 healthy individuals without prior stroke, heart disease, or cancer using nine years of the Canadian Community Health Survey between 2000 and 2012. To determine subsequent hospitalization or emergency department visit for stroke, hospital records were linked. The association between self-reported leisure sedentary time and risk for stroke was quantified.

A total of 2,965 stroke events were identified during follow-up. The researchers identified a three-way interaction between leisure sedentary time, PA, and age. Only individuals younger than 60 years who were in the lowest PA quartile had a significantly elevated risk for stroke with at least eight hours of sedentary time per day (fully adjusted hazard ratio, 4.50). Across multiple sensitivity analyses, including adjustment for mood disorders and when accounting for the competing risk for death, the association was significant.

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“High sedentary time with low PA is associated with higher risk of stroke in young individuals,” the authors write. “Public health efforts to increase PA, as well as reduce high sedentary time in the young, may contribute to lowering the long-term risk of stroke in this population.”

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