Monday, April 7, 2008

Walking Speed May Predict Stroke Risk

“An older woman's walking speed may help predict her risk of suffering stroke, over and above traditional risk factors, a new study suggests. Researchers found that among 13,000 postmenopausal women, those with the slowest walking speeds were 69 percent more likely to suffer a stroke over the next five years than women with the quickest gait. Even when the researchers excluded women with health conditions that might slow their walking speed, the higher stroke risk persisted. Traditional stroke risk factors- like diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking - did not explain away the link between walking speed and stroke. ‘This research has shown that slow walking speed is a predictor of ischemic stroke independent of known stroke risk factors,’ said lead researcher Dr. Aileen McGinn, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.”

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