Leisure time physical activity reduces the risk for stroke in adults: A reanalysis of a meta-analysis using the inverse-heterogeneity model

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Abstract

Objective. Apply more robust and additional analyses to a previous meta-analysis that reported statistically significant associations between leisure time physical activity (LTPA) and stroke. Methods. A reanalysis of a previous meta-analysis that included nine prospective cohort studies representing 269,594 men and women 25-84 years of age and in which the association between LTPA and incident stroke was examined. Follow-up periods ranged from 7.7 to 32.0 years. Relative risks (RR) from each study were pooled using the inverse-heterogeneity model. Heterogeneity was examined using the Q statistic, inconsistency using I2, and small-study effects using Doi plots and the LFK index. Influence and cumulative meta-analysis were also conducted. Results. Using low LTPA as the reference, moderate LTPA was associated with a statistically significant reduction in the risk for stroke in men (RR = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.65 to 0.95) and a trend in women (RR = 0.88, 95% CI = 0.78 to 1.0). High LTPA was associated with a statistically significant reduction in the risk for stroke in both men (RR = 0.72, 95% CI = 0.60 to 0.86) and women (RR = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.66 to 0.92). No statistically significant heterogeneity was observed and inconsistency was low. However, potential small-study effects were observed. With each study deleted once, results remained statistically significant. Cumulative meta-analysis demonstrated stability in results since at least 2005. Conclusions. Leisure time physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of stroke in both men and women. However, the small-study effects observed suggest the possibility that results may be exaggerated.

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Kelley, G. A., & Kelley, K. S. (2019). Leisure time physical activity reduces the risk for stroke in adults: A reanalysis of a meta-analysis using the inverse-heterogeneity model. Stroke Research and Treatment, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/8264502

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