Strokes in the Family

By Health Day

Brothers and sisters often share a lot in common including, perhaps, their risk of stroke.

Strokes are a major threat in America. Every hour, about 15 Americans die of one. A new study suggests if you want to learn more about your risk of stroke, just look at your brother or sister.

Swedish researchers included a large number of people who'd had a stroke over a 20-year period and their siblings, as well as people who hadn't had a stroke. They focused on the most common type of stroke, which is caused by blockages in blood vessels that supply the brain.

People whose brother or sister had a stroke were at a 60-percent higher risk of also having one. The risk was especially high in people whose sibling had the stroke at a relatively young age.

According to the lead researcher, the genes that siblings share may contribute to the higher risk. But so can the lifestyle habits that run in families. And those are something you can change!

Taking steps like improving your diet, staying physically active, and trimming away extra pounds can help you protect your brain. This may be especially important if strokes have already struck your brother or sister.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news that doctors are reading; health news that matters to you.

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