An addiction to alcohol in middle-age carries higher risk of stroke than certain traditional risk factors like high blood pressure and diabetes, warns a new study.
For the analysis, researchers followed 11,644 Swedish twins, aged around 60, enrolled in the Swedish Twin Registry for more than four decades.
Researchers used questionnaires completed by the participants born between 1967 and 1970. Hospital discharge and death data were collected from the Registry.
People in the study, who consumed more than two drinks daily, had 34 percent increased risk of stroke than light drinkers or people who took less than half a drink daily.
People who involved in heavy drinking during middle-age increased their risk of getting stroke five years earlier than others. They were also more likely to get stroke than people who had certain traditional factors linked to stroke risk.
"For mid-aged adults, avoiding more than two drinks a day could be a way to prevent stroke in later productive age (about 60s)," Pavla Kadlecová, a statistician at St. Anne's University Hospital's International Clinical Research Center in the Czech Republic, said in a news release.
The study reported in the American Association journal Stroke, supports a research released in March 2014. Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland followed 2,609 middle-aged men for 20 years and found that people who consumed alcohol more frequently than twice a week had over threefold risk of dying from stroke than non-drinkers.
A stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain gets interrupted, affects supply of oxygen and nutrients to the brain and damages the brain tissue.
The condition strikes nearly 15 million people every year; claims five million lives and disables another five million, a World Health Organisation (WHO) report shows. Nearly 1.5 million Indians are affected by strokes every year.