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Life’s Simple 7 and Stroke Risk

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

Does a high genetic risk for stroke make it inevitable? Or is it possible for lifestyle to offset that risk?

Those were the questions posed in a study just published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

In the study, more than 11,000 middle-aged adults were tracked for 28 years. None had ever had a stroke at the beginning of the study.

Strokes were documented, and the lifetime risk of stroke was calculated for people on a continuum of genetic risk as well as on a continuum of the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 recommendations:

1️⃣ Total cholesterol

2️⃣ Blood pressure

3️⃣ Blood glucose

4️⃣ Physical activity

5️⃣ Diet

6️⃣ Smoking status

7️⃣ Body mass index

What did they find?

Across all levels of genetic risk, those with an optimal Life’s Simple 7 had an approximate 30% to 43% lower lifetime risk of stroke than those with just an adequate Life’s Simple 7.

✨That corresponds to an additional 6 years lived free from stroke✨

What this means is that taking action to maintain optimal cardiovascular health can partially offset a genetic risk of stroke—helping you live healthier for more years.

Pretty empowering, don’t you think?


Thomas EA, Enduru N, Tin A et al. Polygenic Risk, Midlife Life’s Simple 7, and Lifetime Risk of Stroke. J Am Heart Assoc. 2022 [link]

Tracey Mixon is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner, certified functional medicine health coach, and Founder of Desire To Live Now. After a lifelong battle with autoimmune disease, Tracey was introduced to Functional Medicine in 2012 which not only transformed her health but her life. Tracey became a nurse practitioner to help anyone who desires to optimize their health with lifestyle medicine and combat health disparities amongst minority communities.

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