A recent study published by the American Heart Association revealed that for seniors living in a supportive or closely-knit environments, stroke survival rates was better than other health or socioeconomic factors. According to the research published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, the researchers at the University of Minnesota and Rush University in Chicago, studied 5,789 seniors (for which 60 percent were women, 62 percent black, average age of 75) living in three adjacent neighborhoods in Chicago. In their study, the researchers asked questions relating to how “cohesive” each participant’s neighborhoods were with regards to their daily contact with neighbors or vice-versa. Such questions that were asked of seniors are as follows:
- Do you see neighbors and friends talking outside in the yard or on the street?
- Do you see neighbors taking care of each other, such as doing yard work or watching children?
Respondents were also asked how many neighbors:
- Do you know by name?
- Do you have a friendly talk with at least once a week?
- Could you call on for assistance in doing something around your home or yard or “borrow a cup of sugar” or ask some other small favor?
For each single point increase in a neighborhood “cohesion” scoring system, survival increased 53 percent. Over 11 years of follow-up, they identified 186 stroke deaths, and 701 first strokes incidents.
Cari Jo Clark, Sc.D., lead author of the study said, “Social isolation is unhealthy on many levels, and there is a lot of literature showing that increased social support improves not just stroke, but many other health outcomes in seniors.”
Learn the early warning signs of a stroke or stroke symptoms with the video below…
Credit source: American Heart Association/www.heart.org