Washington [US]November 13 (ANI): A study at the University of Gothenburg found that four hours of light exercise per week was linked to both higher survival rates and milder symptoms of intracerebral hemorrhage.
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.
Researchers from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg show in the current register-based study a clear connection, although not causality, between physical activity and protection against severe symptoms of intracerebral bleeding.
The findings indicate that individuals who engage in light physical activity, such as walking or cycling, for at least four hours each week have a 3.5-fold increased risk of experiencing mild intracerebral hemorrhage symptoms and a more than two-fold increased chance of five-year survival compared to individuals who engage in less activity.
Adam Viktorisson, PhD student in clinical neuroscience at Sahlgrenska Academy and medical intern at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, is the first author of the study and it was published in the journal Neurology.
This study is the first to look at the relationship between exercise, acute stroke symptoms, and death after intracerebral hemorrhage. The results show that light exercise, such as walking or cycling for at least 35 minutes each day, significantly lowers the risk of severe symptoms and death after intracerebral hemorrhage.
The study includes all patients who were 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 (brain 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 strenuous, said 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 percent among those who were physically active before the intracerebral hemorrhage and only 33 percent 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.
– It is hoped that this study would motivate people to engage in more physical activity. According to the final author, Professor Katharina Stibrant Sunnerhagen, this would improve their quality of life, reduce the number of patients with severe injuries and reduce the burden on the healthcare system. (ANI)