People are at increased risk of disability and memory loss after a stroke if they have low levels of "good" cholesterol, according to new research.
The study also showed that high levels of homocysteine, an amino acid found in meat, can increase risk levels.
Researchers tested 3,680 people who had suffered a mild or moderate stroke over a two year period and found that people with low levels of "good" high-density lipoproteins (HDL) or those who had high levels of homocysteine were twice as likely to develop problems.
Dr George Newman, who conducted the study with the Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia, noted that stroke recovery was most difficult for those over 57 with high homocysteine levels.
He continued to say that it is unclear why these factors lead to slow recovery after a stroke and that more research is needed.
According to Heart UK, 40 per cent of strokes can be attributed to high cholesterol levels.
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