Why Are Stroke Victims Getting Younger?

Multiple Fellowship-Trained Stroke Physicians
Multiple Fellowship-Trained Stroke Physicians

If you think you're too young for a stroke, you might want to think again. Many young people see having a stroke at their age as impossible, but in reality, there is no such thing as being too young for a stroke.

Strokes in older adults are usually the result of a lifetime of bad habits building up and damaging the vascular system. Strokes in the elderly are declining, but they are up in adults under age 55. While strokes in people under 45 years of age are rare, experts say they do happen. Most commonly, strokes in younger adults are the result of rare conditions like tears in the artery walls or defects in the heart that release clots. The exact reason why more young people are suffering from strokes remains unclear, but there are some definite risk factors.

One possible reason for the growth in strokes among young people may be obesity. Obesity is up in America as a whole, and that increases the lifetime risk for stroke.

Obesity also increases the risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. All of which are factors that contribute to a significant stroke risk at any age.

Finally, factors like improved diagnosis may also be contributing to the rise. Doctors are realizing that stroke should be considered if the symptoms are present, regardless of the patient's age. This increase in strokes among young people highlights the need for people to be aware of what stroke symptoms look like, so everyone can be on the lookout for signs of what is happening with their loved ones.

A stroke is a medical emergency. If you think you are having a stroke, call 911.

The St. John Heyman Stroke Center is the only Joint Commission-certified comprehensive stroke center in eastern Oklahoma and is nationally recognized for advanced endovascular stroke treatment therapies.They were honored at the 2015 International Stroke Conference as a leader in quality stroke care. For more information, visit www.stjohnhealthsystem.com/heyman-stroke-center or call 918-744-0123.