(HealthDay News) – Stressful habits and type A behavior correlate with an increased risk of stroke, according to a study published online Aug. 27 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

Jose Antonio Egido, MD, from the Hospital Clinico Universitario San Carlos in Madrid, and colleagues evaluated psycho-physical stress as a risk factor for stroke in a case-control study. Data were used for 150 patients (age 18–65 years) with incident stroke and 300 controls who were neighbors recruited from the census registry.

The researchers found that, after adjustment for confounding variables, stroke was significantly correlated with the following variables of stress: Holmes & Rahe questionnaire of life events values >150 (odds ratio [OR], 3.84); Recall Scale of Type A Behavior values >24 (OR, 2.23); male gender (OR, 9.33); high consumption of energy-providing beverages (OR, 2.63); current or ex-smoker (OR, 2.08 and 2.35, respectively); cardiac arrhythmia (OR, 3.18); and Epworth scale ≥9 (OR, 2.83).

“Psycho-physical stress factors related to stressful lifestyle and type A personality are associated with stroke, independently of other risk factors and unhealthy lifestyle,” the authors write. “Addressing the influence of psychophysical factors on stroke could constitute an additional therapeutic line in the primary prevention of stroke in the at-risk population and, as such, warrants further investigation.”

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