More Young People Felled By Strokes

We all know that obesity is causing more heart attacks and strokes. But a really scary new study has found that the people having strokes are getting younger and younger.

According to newswise.com, "15 percent of the most common type of strokes occur in adolescents and young adults, and more young people are showing risk factors for such strokes," quoting a report in the journal Neurology.

U.S. hospital discharges for stroke among persons ages 15 to 44 increased 23 to 53 percent between 1995-1996 and 2007-2008, depending on age and gender of the group. That's more than doubling.

“The impact of strokes in this age group is devastating to the adolescent or young adult, their families and society,” neurologist Jose Biller of Loyola University Medical Center, a co-author of the report, a consensus statement developed by the American Academy of Neurology, tells newswise.com.


About 85 percent of all strokes are caused by blockages that block blood flow to the brain. And more young people have risk factors for these kinds of strokes, newswise.com points out. Those risks include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, abnormal cholesterol levels, congenital heart disease and smoking.

Strokes are tragic for anyone, but especially so for young people, who have children, careers and much of their life left to live.  And children have them, too.  Boys have a 1.28-fold higher risk of stroke than girls, and are more likely to die. Black children have a two-fold higher risk than whites, Hispanics a lower risk of 0.76, and Asians have a similar risk.

Yahoo.com describes a stroke this way: "Imagine a weird feeling—say, an unusual headache or a random surge of euphoria. Then imagine losing control of your muscles and your voice. Then imagine blacking out and waking up in a hospital."  None of this sounds too serious. But that's a stroke, and the end result can have a devastating impact on your life.

How to avoid a stroke?  Quit smoking.  Lose weight.  Exercise more.  You know the drill.  But the risk is real if you don't, so think about it. 



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