The Association between Changes in Behavioral Risk Factors for Stroke and Changes in Blood Pressure

Lewis B. Morgenstern*, Brisa N. Sánchez, Kathleen M. Conley, Melany C. Morgenstern, Emma Sais, Lesli E. Skolarus, Deborah A. Levine, Devin L. Brown

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background High blood pressure (BP) is the leading risk factor for stroke. Data on the association of physical activity (PA), fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption, and dietary sodium with hypertension are lacking in Hispanic communities. In the current report, we provide data on the association between changes in these stroke behavioral risk factors and BP change. Methods Participants were recruited from participating Catholic churches in Nueces County, Texas. BP was measured, and self-reported validated scales of F&V consumption, dietary sodium, and PA were collected at baseline and at 12 months. Linear mixed models were used to examine the associations between tertiles of improvement in the 3 behavior outcomes and BP change, adjusted for demographic characteristics. The association between the binary measure of at least 5 mmHg diastolic blood pressure (DBP) or 10 mmHg systolic blood pressure (SBP) reduction and behavior change was estimated with multilevel logistic regression models. Results Of 586 participants, 66% were female and 82% were Mexican American (MA), and the mean age was 54 years. High compared with low change in PA was significantly associated with DBP change (P = .022), and high compared with low change in F&V intake was significantly associated with SBP change (P = .032). For the binary changes in DBP or SBP, there was a borderline association of PA (P = .054); all other variables were not associated (P > .10). Conclusions PA and F&V consumption are potential stroke prevention targets in predominantly MA populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2116-2121
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Hispanic
  • fruit and vegetable
  • hypertension
  • physical activity
  • sodium
  • stroke prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Surgery


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