Stress and stroke

There are a number of risk factors that we commonly associate with stroke, including hypertension, smoking history, and diabetes. The current issue of JNNP explores the role of stress resilience in the aetiology of stroke http://jnnp.bmj.com/content/85/12/1331.abstract . The authors have assessed a large Swedish male population and have provided interesting insights into the role of stress in the development of stroke. They have demonstrated that low stress resilience during adolescence was associated with a subsequent higher stroke risk. They also note that the association was independent of socio-economic status and general physical health. The results are particularly interesting given the emerging associations between early life stress and the development of metabolic conditions, such as diabetes.

The authors suggest that their study highlights the importance of measures for stroke prevention incorporating ways of reducing psychosocial stress.