Compared with women with none of the five healthy factors, women with all the five factors in place had a 54 percent lower risk of stroke.

"Because the consequences of stroke are usually devastating and irreversible, prevention is of great importance," said Susanna C Larsson from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

For the study, 31,696 Swedish women turning 60 completed a 350-item questionnaire about their diet and lifestyle.

Women who had a healthier diet were 13 percent less likely to have a type of stroke called a cerebral infarction than those whose diet was not as healthy.Women with healthier diets had a rate of 28 strokes per 10,000 women per year compared to 43 strokes per 10,000 women per year among those with a less healthy diet, the study noted.

"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," explained Susanna.

The study appeared in the journal Neurology.


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