Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Stroke / 06.12.2021 Interview with: Professor Andrew Smyth MB, BCh, BAO, MMedSc, MRCPI, PhD Professor of Clinical Epidemiology NUI Galway Director of the HRB-Clinical Research Facility Galway Consultant Nephrologist at Galway University Hospitals What is the background for this study? Response: We know that there are multiple medium to long-term risk factors for stroke, as people with conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure) or diabetes mellitus (high blood glucose levels) and those with risk factors (such as smoking, obesity, poor diet quality and others) are at increased risk of stroke. However, we still find it difficult to predict who will have a stroke. We were interested in exploring if short-term exposures to anger or emotional upset or a period of heavy physical exertion might lead to, or ‘trigger’ a stroke. We looked at this previously for myocardial infarction (heart attack) in a study called INTERHEART. Some smaller studies have looked at this before, with less people experiencing a stroke and often confined to one country or geographical region. Here, in INTERSTROKE, we included over 13,000 people who had a stroke and asked about the one hour period before the onset of the stroke and also about the same period on the day before.  (more…)