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ischemic strokes

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Red Meat Raised Risk of Stroke in Swedish Women

Women eating the most red meat had highest risk of stroke.

The connection between eating red meat and the risk of ischemic stroke was assessed in a study of more than 34,000 Swedish women. After an average followup time of 10.4 years, the women who consumed 3.6 ounces (102 g) or more daily had 42% higher risk for stroke compared to those who ate 0.9 ounces (25 g) or less daily.

Women who had never smoked and did not have diabetes but ate the most red meat still had a 68% higher risk. These results are also consistent with findings from the Nurses' Health Study.

PositiveTip: Cutting back or eliminating red meat intake appears to reduce the risk of stroke in women.

Red Meat and Strokes in Women

About 80 percent of strokes are caused when the brain loses blood supply because arteries are blocked. While eating red meat is linked to a higher risk of heart disease, several types of cancer, and high blood pressure, the connection between red meat in the diet and stroke has been less certain until now.

In December 2010, the journal Stroke published a study examining the link between eating red meat and stroke in 34,670 Swedish women from 39-73 years of age. All were free of cancer and cardiovascular disease in 1997 at the beginning of the study.  Over the 10 year study, there were 1,680 strokes in the group.