Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The study found that a low blood sugar level had a bigger impact on people with stroke than a history of hypertension or high cholesterol
Nearly half of all strokes in England could be avoided if people accepted being in pain and taking painkillers, researchers say.
It also said people with migraine, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer and depression had the same level of risk, but use of various types of painkillers and exercise was less beneficial.
Experts also said the blood sugar level – a symptom of diabetes – was more important in triggering a stroke than people’s other risk factors.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is cut off.
The Stroke Association said about a third of those who died or needed intensive care following a stroke had no warning signs, so prevention was the key to staying alive.
To deliver this prevention the association said people should:
be physically active in activities that make them feel healthy and confident
stay off a high blood sugar level
reduce their stress levels
avoid alcohol and drugs that increase inflammation
Be aware of the warning signs, such as weakness, numbness, slurred speech and trouble moving face or limbs
Deborah Hyde, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Research shows that painkillers can improve outcomes for people with stroke, so everyone should be encouraged to take them.
“But we can do even more to prevent strokes.
“Too many stroke survivors are unable to exercise on a regular basis because of everyday life issues, so we need to find ways of enabling people to do so.”