Strokes: A New Concern for Younger Adults

by on February 14th, 2011 at 7:00 am

A recent report announced by the American Stroke Association stated that strokes are increasing considerably in young and middle-aged Americans, while declining in the older population. The nationwide study of stroke hospitalizations showed that men age 15-34 had the sharpest increase of 51%, while women in the same age group showed a 17% increase.

Health experts have long predicted that the increased prevalence of obesity in children and younger adults would lead to a decline in cardiovascular health and increased risk for stroke, which is supported by the study. Further, obesity typically brings many concurrent conditions that also put people at a higher risk for stroke, including high blood pressure and diabetes.

Besides being potentially deadly, the effects of a stroke can severely alter a sufferer’s life, as well as the lives of his or her family. Common problems may include paralysis, cognitive problems, and incontinence, just to name a few.

Make significant lifestyle changes can help lower the risk of stroke, including monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol,  practicing stress management, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding activities like smoking and excessive drinking.

Many of these habits, especially management of high-risk conditions, are believed by doctors to be attributed to the decline with men and women 65 and older, as strokes dropped by 25% and 28%, respectively.

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