Risk factors for ischaemic and intracerebral haemorrhagic stroke in 22 countries (the INTERSTROKE study): a case-control study by Martin J O'Donnell & multiple colleagues. [If you create an identity and password you have access to this article even if you don't subscribe].
Although I wish they'd come up with something different, the verdict was:
"Phase 1 of INTERSTROKE suggests that hypertension, smoking, abdominal obesity, physical inactivity, and diet are the most important modifiable risk factors for stroke. These important findings should help to inform stroke prevention strategies around the world and to reduce the global burden of stroke." (Comment: Reducing the global burden of stroke: INTERSTROKE by Jack V Tu, The Lancet, Volume 376, Issue 9735, Pages 74 - 75, 10 July 2010)
Yeah sure mate- "help inform stroke prevention strategies"- I think most moderately health-conscious societies are quite well informed on this already- but how the hell do you get us (the at risk people right now) to exercise against that awful, ingrained "physical inactivity". We are NOT MOTIVATED YET!! I think someone has to come up with something new to get us all off our bums!
Quite honestly, I have been exhorting myself to exercise regularly since the age of 15 when my family doctor handed me the old XBX exercise paperback and said "Start here!". For no more than 14 days of my life have I exercised vigorously EVERY DAY- and that's when I have gone on holidays specifically to walk at least 10km/day over someone else's hills! I have plenty of photos to prove it, too!
Here I am at the famous Beseggen Ridge in Norway in mid 2004, a cardiovascular treat if ever there was one!
I see absolutely nothing in my neighbourhood, which is full of middle aged and older citizens, prominently encouraging us to come along to exercise sessions or enrol in a government-sponsored walking program. I have deliberately sought out suitable programs on the internet and discovered a Heart Foundation Walking Program, but I haven't managed to get along yet. There is also an early morning exercise class for "Seniors" at a local community centre, but it's at 7am and that is just dumb for most people who have blood pressure medication to take with breakfast!