Washington [US]November 10 (ANI): According to a study from the University of Gothenburg, four hours of light physical exercise each week is associated with milder symptoms of intracerebral hemorrhage as well as higher survival rates.
Intracerebral hemorrhage is the most serious type of stroke with few treatment options. About one in ten strokes is an intracerebral hemorrhage, a condition caused by bleeding in the brain tissue, with a high risk of death and disability.
In the current registry-based study, researchers from Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg show a clear connection, but not causality, between physical activity and protection against severe symptoms of intracerebral bleeding.
The results show that people who do light physical activity, such as walking or cycling for at least four hours per week, are 3.5 times more likely to experience mild symptoms from intracerebral bleeding and more than twice as likely to survive for five years, compared to to those who are less active.
The first author of the study, published in the journal Neurology, is Adam Viktorisson, PhD student in clinical neuroscience at Sahlgrenska Academy and medical intern at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg.
– This is the first study to investigate the relationship between physical activity, acute stroke symptoms and death after intracerebral haemorrhage. The results show that light physical activity, such as taking a walk or cycling for at least 35 minutes per day, significantly reduces the likelihood of severe symptoms and death after intracerebral bleeding, he says.
The study includes all patients treated for intracerebral bleeding at Sahlgrenska University Hospital between 2014 and 2019. A total of 763 people with intracerebral bleeding and a comparison group of 4,425 people with ischemic stroke (cerebral infarction) were included. The average age was 73 years and 50 percent were women.
In the study, over half were inactive before their intracerebral hemorrhage, 1 in 3 performed light physical activity, and less than 1 in 20 exercised regularly.
– Physical activity is not synonymous with exercise. Exercise involves structured and repetitive physical activities done to strengthen muscles or improve fitness. Physical activity can be going to work or going to the store. It is remarkable that even light physical activity seems to make a big difference. However, the study is based on an older population, for whom even light physical activities can be exhausting, says Adam Viktorisson.
The researchers have compiled information from several Swedish registers: The local stroke register at Sahlgrenska University Hospital (Vaststroke), the national stroke register (Riksstroke), the Statistics Sweden register, the National Patient Register and the Cause of Death Register. Mortality follow-up continued until October 2021, up to 7 years.
The probability of 5-year survival was 73% among those who were physically active before the intracerebral hemorrhage and only 33% among those who were inactive.
Of particular note is that those who were physically active but suffered from severe co-morbidity had a higher survival rate, compared to those who were inactive but otherwise healthy.
– Hopefully this study can encourage people to be more physically active. It would reduce the number of severely injured patients and give them a better quality of life and at the same time less burden on the healthcare system, says the last author, Professor Katharina Stibrant Sunnerhagen. (ANI)