Physical activity frequency and the risk of stroke: A nationwide cohort study in Korea

Han Gil Jeong, Do Yeon Kim, Dong Wan Kang, Beom Joon Kim, Chi Kyung Kim, Yerim Kim, Wookjin Yang, Eun Sun Park, Seung Hoon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Background--The current guideline recommends moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (PA) at least 40 min/day for 3 to 4 days/week. Although recent evidence has demonstrated that low-dose PA could reduce cardiovascular mortality, the relationship between low-dose PA and the risk of stroke remains uncertain. Methods and Results--Using data from a nation-wide sample cohort in Korea, we examined 336 326 individuals who received a general health examination between 2009 and 2010. Level of PA was assessed using a questionnaire for weekly PA frequencies regarding 3 intensity categories: light, moderate, and vigorous. Moderate- to vigorous-intensity PA (MVPA) was classified into 4 frequency categories: none, 1 to 2, 3 to 4, or ≥5 times/week. Cox proportional hazard models were constructed to estimate the risk of stroke. During the average follow-up of 3.6 years, 2213 stroke cases occurred. MVPA was none in 50%, 1 to 2 times/week in 20%, 3 to 4 times/week in 13%, and ≥5 times/week in 18% of the cohort. Individuals with MVPA 1 to 2 times/week had a 16% reduced risk of stroke (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.84; 95% confidence interval, 0.73-0.96) compared with those with no MVPA. The population attributable fraction of no MVPA was 12%, which was the second most important risk factor for a stroke after hypertension. Conclusions--Even 1 to 2 times a week of MVPA might be beneficial to prevent a first-ever stroke in the general population, although a quantitative validation of the questionnaire is needed. From a public health perspective, we need to encourage inactive people to start exercising with more-achievable goals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere005671
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sept 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (Grant No.: HI17C0076), and also supported by Basic Science Research Program

Funding Information:
through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (NRF-2015R1A2A2A01007770).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors.


  • Physical activity
  • Primary prevention
  • Risk factor
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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