Strokes In Young People Increasing
More and more we’re seeing strokes in young people increasing in the United States, and their unhealthy lifestyle is likely to blame say experts who looked at hospital data on 8 million patients between the years of 1995 to 2008. Once a condition of older people, strokes are happening with alarming regularity in younger and younger patients. The new research claims that stroke rates in those 5 to 44 years old went up by almost 33% in less than ten years.
Having hypertension, diabetes and being obese are common for victims of stroke. But doctors know that by far the biggest risk for stroke, and other dangerous conditions too, is high blood pressure.
As the fourth leading killer in the U.S., stroke can leave those who do survive with paralysis, speech problems and emotional issues that rob you of independence and impact your quality of life, for the rest of your life.
The team of CDC researchers examined figures on ischemic stroke, which accounts for 85% of strokes and is caused by blood clots.
Hemorrhagic strokes are the less common type and come as a result of bleeding in the brain itself. The blood accumulates and compresses the brain tissue in the area. Either type of stroke causes brain cells to die as a result of a lack of blood flow and thus no oxygen.
According to the research, the number of ischemic strokes went up by 31% in 5-14 year olds, though this age group showed drops in hemorrhagic stroke.
There was a lift of 30% for those from 15 to 34; 37% for those aged between 35 and 44 years old. Across all ages, the rise was bigger for men than women.
Also, more than 50% of the 35-44 year olds with an ischemic stroke suffered from high blood pressure.
It’s important to recognize stroke risk in younger people. Keeping on top of your blood pressure, at any age, and living healthy, is so important.
The good news is that stroke treatment has improved a good deal, and there are medications that can reduce the damage of a stroke. But you must get emergency care as soon as you can, within three hours of your first symptoms. This is why being able to recognize and react to stroke symptoms is so important.
Another of the dangers from stroke is that once you’ve had a stroke, you’re at increased risk of having another. Estimates have at least one in eight stroke survivors having another event in 5 years time. That’s why it’s so important to treat underlying conditions like high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease. And why you need to encourage the young people in your life to avoid smoking and alcohol use, and to make serious efforts to lose weight if they’re carrying more pounds than they should be.
Doctors recommend that all of us, especially those at risk for stroke, eat a more healthy diet, get more exercise on a regular basis, and adopt other healthy lifestyle habits (managing stress, getting enough sleep) as well. By doing what you can to reduce your risk, and helping reduce the risk of strokes in young people in your life, you’ll be able to keep your body, and brain, healthy.