The effects of Risk Factor‐Targeted Lifestyle Counselling Intervention on working‐age stroke patients' adherence to lifestyle change

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Stroke is globally the main cause of adult disability 1. It is often regarded as a one‐time event, and patients have little awareness of the risks of subsequent illness following stroke 2. Stroke happens when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut‐off, resulting in cell death 3. Transient ischaemic attack (TIA) occurs when blood flow to part of the brain is blocked for a short period of time with stroke‐like symptoms lasting <24 hours before disappearing 4.
People experiencing a stroke or TIA are at a significant risk of future stroke events, and a recurrent stroke is often more severe than the first one 7. Twenty‐five per cent of strokes recur within 5 years 8, and at 10 years following a stroke, the cumulative risk of recurrence is 39.2% 9. TIAs do not generally cause permanent brain damage, and they are a warning sign that a stroke may happen in future and require emergency treatment 7. More specifically, 8.1% of strokes occur within 48 hours and 10–20% within 90 days following TIA 12. However, risk factors for stroke are the same as those for TIA 13.
Stroke is caused by the interactions between many complex processes and may be promoted by multiple closely intertwined risk factors. The incidence of stroke is particularly sensitive to lifestyle‐related risk factors 14 including alcohol consumption, physical activity, smoking, weight control, stress and diet, both by themselves and in combination 16. Advancing age increases the risk of stroke, but younger individuals are by no means immune; a quarter of people suffering a stroke are under the age of 65 17. The focus of the study presented is on working‐age people.

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