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Eberly College of Arts and Sciences




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.

Source Citation

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, 1–6.


Copyright © 2019 George A. Kelley and Kristi S. Kelley. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



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