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Higher stress "could cause strokes"

Around one in seven people from the UK are "extremely stressed" this new year, according to research.

Out of 2,000 people questioned in a survey, around 20% of women and 10% of men feel that their stress levels are spiralling out of control.

Experts have warned that the increased stress could put more people at higher risk of having a stroke. They have also highlighted that a poor diet and a lack of exercise can also contribute to the chances of suffering a stroke.

Strokes are the third most common cause of death in England and Wales, killing more than 67,000 every year. Around 150,000 are estimated to suffered from strokes annually.

The survey, completed by the Stroke Association and Siemens, revealed that almost a fifth of people "take no exercise whatsoever", while a similar number of respondents also manage only 30 minutes of exercise a week.

Over a quarter of middle-aged people (45 to 54) said they never exercise, despite suffering the highest stress levels - with almost half ranking themselves as more than "moderately stressed".

Overall, 40% of Britons surveyed said they were unaware of the link between exercising and lowering the risk of stroke.

James Beeby, head of corporate fundraising for the Stroke Association, said: "The research is incredibly worrying and emphasises the need for the public to be aware of the dangers of stroke."

Copyright © Press Association 2011

The Stroke Association