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Stroke risk cut 'by setting life goals'

Stroke risk cut 'by setting life goals'
6th March 2013

People who have defined goals and believe they have a purpose in life are less likely to have a stroke, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Michigan studied almost 7,000 people over the age of 50 and discovered those with a determined plan for the future are 22 per cent less likely to develop a clot on the brain.

Strokes occur when a clot prevents oxygen reaching the brain, which leads to the breakdown of cells and can reduce function in certain areas, including speech and limb movement.

Using questionnaires to determine the "directedness" of the study subjects, the team found those with high scores - having set clear goals for the future - were less likely to have a stroke than those who feel their life is lacking purpose.

The researchers speculated this may be because those who set themselves objectives are more likely to maintain a healthy lifestyle, though the idea that thinking positively about life could have health benefits was also suggested.

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