Trend Toward Stroke Becoming More Common in Young People
Research published this month in Neurology, shows that stroke may be affecting people at a younger age. Researchers looked at occurrences of strokes in people between the ages 20 and 54 in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area during three separate, one year-long periods. Only first ever strokes were included in the analysis.
The study found that strokes among people under 55 made up a greater percentage of all strokes over time, growing from about 13 percent in 1993-94 to 19 percent in 2005. The stroke rate in young people increased in both African-Americans and Caucasians, from 83 strokes per 100,000 people in 1993-94 in African-Americans to 128 per 100,000 in 2005 and in Caucasians from 26 strokes per 100,000 people in 1993-94 to 48 per 100,000 in 2005.
According to the authors, some of the possible contributing factors to these strokes can be modified with lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise. They suggest however, that given the increase in stroke among those younger than 55, younger adults should see a doctor regularly to monitor their overall health and risk for stroke and heart disease.