The more fit a person is in middle age, the less likely he or she will have a crippling stroke after age 65.
That is the result of a new study by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Doctors studied 20,000 men and women between the ages of 45 and 50, and concluded that those who were most fit from moderate to vigorous exercise had a 37 percent lower risk of a stroke than those who were the least fit.
They say the reduced risk of a future stroke was present even when the subjects had other risk factors, including high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes.
The study urges doctors not to ignore low levels of exercise and fitness as risk factors for a stroke.
The study was published in the latest issue of the medical journal called Stroke.