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Just 30 minutes of light exercise per week reduces the risk of the lethal subarachnoid haemorrhage

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Posted June 27, 2019

Subarachnoid haemorrhage is the most lethal kind of disorders of the cerebral circulation. Around a half of the people affected die within the next three months. Smoking and high blood pressure have been identified as factors increasing the risk of the subarachnoid haemorrhage. Now scientists from Finland found that a lack of exercise can also increase this risk.

Subarachnoid haemorrhage is the most lethal disorder of the cerebral circulation, but 30 minutes of light exercise can reduce its risk. Image credit: Cerevisae via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

As little as half an hour of light exercise per week effectively protects against subarachnoid haemorrhage. This is what Finnish scientists found after analysing the SAH risk were investigated in a cohort of roughly 70,000 Finns. The best thing is that these benefits can be achieved doing a variety of physical activities, including running, rollerblading, swimming, playing basketball, cycling or, say, skiing to work. Just as long as you’re moving at least half an hour per week, the risk of subarachnoid haemorrhage decreases by 5 %. Moreover, the benefit increases proportionally to the amount of exercise.

For example, exercising for 30 minutes four days per week reduces the risk of subarachnoid haemorrhage by 20 %, regardless of age and gender. And it really can be anything – forget your car and walk to work and you’ll be better off. Joni Lindbohm, the principal author of the research article, commented on these results: “As such, the finding did not really come as a surprise, as exercise is known to work well in preventing many other cardiovascular diseases. However, the extent and comprehensive nature of the benefit among various groups of people was a positive surprise”. Scientists are also saying that exercising may neutralize some negative effects of harmful habits, such as smoking.

Scientists say that for smokers exercise reduces the risk of subarachnoid haemorrhage as much as twice the amount applicable to the rest of the population. This is great, but smokers shouldn’t rejoice too much. Smoking is still a number one factor increasing the risk of subarachnoid haemorrhage. Quitting smoking is a better idea than just starting exercising. In fact, if you are smoking, you should just quit (look for help if needed) and start moving more. You will feel better and you will be healthier.

Subarachnoid haemorrhage occur when cerebral aneurysms rupture. In most cases, the condition is lethal. This is why it is important to take preventive measures.

 

Source: University of Helsinki

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