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Drug Use, Poor Diet Can Lead to Increased Stroke Risk

Deep-fried foods, sugary drinks and marijuana have been linked to an increased risk for having a stroke.

Marijuana linked to increased risk for stroke 

Some bad news for marijuana users, Time reports — researchers in New Zealand have found an increased risk of stroke among those who smoked marijuana compared to those who did not. 

The study included 160 patients ages 18 to 55 who had suffered a stroke connected to a blood clot in the brain, and who agreed to have their urine tested for marijuana within 72 hours of the stroke. Results were compared to those from 160 controls who had not had a stroke but visited a hospital for other reasons.

The report says the study, however, could not separate tobacco smokers from marijuana smokers because all but one of those testing positive for marijuana in their urine also showed signs of nicotine.

Adding a twist: Research published in the "American Heart Journal" said marijuana users who had heart attacks were no more likely to die than those those hadn’t smoked cannabis.

"Taken together, the findings highlight the still-confusing state of marijuana research," the report reads. 

 

Southern diet linked to increased risk for stroke 

Did you know some people refer to the Southeast as the "stroke belt"? 

A new study finds there may be truth in that moniker, an Associated Press article reports. 

People whose diets are heavy on deep-fried foods and sugary drinks — we do love our sweet tea and Coca-Cola — were more likely to suffer a stroke. 

"We're talking about fried foods, french fries, hamburgers, processed meats, hot dogs," bacon, ham, liver, gizzards and sugary drinks, the reports quotes study leader Suzanne Judd of the University of Alabama in Birmingham as saying. 

Those who ate about six meals a week including those foods had a 41 percent higher stroke risk than people who ate that way about once a month, the federally-funded study found. And blacks were five times more likely than whites to have a diet linked with the highest stroke risk.

Click here to read more. 

Know the signs of a stroke 

Whether or not you're indulging in deep-fried foods or smoking marijuana, or both, it might be helpful to know the signs of a stroke. Click here to check out an announcement posted by the Ad Council on the acronym FAST that can help you remember how to spot signs of a stroke. 

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