Does obesity increase the risk of stroke?
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Student Scientific Circle, Clinic of Neurology, Medical University, Bialystok, Poland
Clinic of Neurology, Medical University, Bialystok, Poland
Jacek Sajdak   

Student Scientific Circle, Clinic of Neurology, Medical University, Bialystok, Poland,
Med Og Nauk Zdr. 2019;25(4):204–207
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 15 million people worldwide suffer from stroke each year, which makes it the second leading cause of death and the leading cause of acquired disability in adults. Obesity is considered to be a great risk factor for stroke. It appears to play a role in the functional outcome and mortality. Obesity can be expressed by many indicators. Most commonly used is Body Mass Index (BMI)

The aim of the study is to determine whether obesity increases the risk of stroke and present the recent state of knowledge about predictors for stroke incidence.

Brief description of the state of knowledge.:
It seems that BMI cannot be taken into consideration as an isolated risk factor for stroke. BMI limitations create a need for better obesity indicators. Recently, it was highlighted that abdominal obesity and its indicators might be a better predictor for stroke incidence compared to BMI. This seems reasonable if recent studies are taken into account in which it was found that abdominal fat has more metabolic activity than subcutaneous fat.

The use of the alternative obesity measurements, such as waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), could help to correct limitations linked to the BMI, especially regarding patients with visceral type of obesity. All three obesity markers (BMI, WHR and WHtR) should be considered for use in every day practice.

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