Physical Activity and Functional Outcomes From Cerebral Vascular Events in Men

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Abstract

Background and Purpose—

In studies enrolling patients with stroke, higher levels of prestroke physical activity are associated with better functional outcomes. However, prospective studies evaluating this association are sparse. Using a cohort of initially healthy men, we aimed to prospectively assess the association between physical activity and functional outcomes from cerebral vascular events.

Methods—

We conducted a prospective cohort study among 21 794 men enrolled in the Physician's Health Study who provided information on physical activity at baseline and who did not have a history of stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). Baseline levels of physical activity were categorized as: vigorous exercise <1, 1, 2 to 4, and ≥5 times/week. Possible functional outcomes included TIA and stroke with modified Rankin Scale score of 0 to 1, 2 to 3, or 5 to 6. Multinomial logistic regression was used to determine the association between physical activity and functional outcomes from cerebral vascular events.

Results—

After a mean of 20.2 years of follow-up, 761 TIAs, 1146 ischemic strokes, 221 hemorrhagic strokes, and 11 strokes of unknown type occurred. Compared with men who did not experience a stroke or TIA and who exercise vigorously <1 time/week, men who exercise vigorously ≥5 times/week had adjusted relative risk (95% CIs) of 0.67 (0.53–0.86) for TIA, 0.84 (0.61–1.14) for stroke with modified Rankin Scale score 0 to 1, 0.85 (0.67–1.08) for modified Rankin Scale score 2 to 3, and 1.12 (0.78–1.60) for modified Rankin Scale score 5 to 6 after total stroke. Other levels of physical activity did not have a significant impact on the risk of our outcomes.

Conclusions—

Physical activity before TIA or stroke does not appear to influence functional outcomes after cerebral vascular events.

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