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Topics :- SMUGS, Stress, Stroke, Journal, DR, Stressful, evidence, cholesterol, survive, disabilities, 'speech problems', paralysis

People who cope better with stress are less likely to suffer a stroke, according to a new study by researchers at Cambridge University.

The seven-year study, published in the journal Stroke, followed a sample of 20,000 people, all aged between 41 and 80. A total of 452 strokes and over 100,000 stressful life events were recorded over this period.

Amongst those surveyed, a reduced risk of stroke was shown in almost a quarter of people who found their lives to be comprehensible, manageable and meaningful.

Dr Paul Surtees, who led the research, said:

"Our findings suggest that people who are able to adapt more rapidly to stressful circumstances in their lives had a lower risk of stroke."
Whilst many questions remain to be answered by further research, this evidence raises the possibility that improving our ability to respond to stress may have benefits for vascular health."

Dr Isabel Lee, of the Stroke Association, said:

"It is becoming clear that understanding the very complex nature of stress and its connection to stroke will allow us to design better stroke prevention interventions and help save lives."

Other factors which increase the risk of having a stroke include cigarette smoking and high cholesterol.
A stroke is the third most common cause of death in the UK, and around 60,000 people die from one each year.
Those who survive are often left suffering from severe disabilities, including speech problems and paralysis.