Sociable people stand higher chances of surviving stroke

April 17th, 2011 - 11:59 am ICT by ANI  

Washington, Apr 17 (ANI): A recent study has found that sociable people have higher chances of surviving stroke than the ones who are more reserved.

The odds of surviving stroke appear to be much better for seniors living in neighborhoods where they interact more often with their neighbors and count on them for help.

“Social isolation is unhealthy on many levels, and there is a lot of literature showing that increased social support improves not just stroke, but many other health outcomes in seniors,” said Cari Jo Clark, the lead author of the study and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Clark and colleagues at the University of Minnesota and Rush University in Chicago studied 5,789 seniors living in three adjacent neighborhoods in Chicago, and interviewed the participants about their neighborhood and their interactions with neighbors.Using the National Death Index and Medicare claim files, they identified 186 stroke deaths and 701 first strokes over 11 years of follow-up. In their analysis, they factored out potential contributing variables such as socioeconomic status and cardiovascular risk factors like high blood pressure, smoking, physical inactivity, diabetes and obesity.

While stroke incidence didn’t differ among neighborhoods, stroke survival was far better for seniors living in “cohesive” neighborhoods, regardless of their gender.

The researchers point out that one possible reason for improved survival is that seniors living in closer neighborhoods have others looking out for them who can get help sooner if they start experiencing stroke symptoms. They’re also less mobile, and neighborhood conditions may be especially relevant. Recent longitudinal research has also found a significant protective relationship between social support and stroke mortality, but not stroke incidence.

The research has been published in Stroke. (ANI)

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