Study finds Increased Rate of Younger People having Strokes

Credit: National Cancer Institute Bill Branson (Photographer) - PD

(Best Syndication News) - Strokes are happening more often at a younger age, according to a new study. The researchers published their findings in the October 10, 2012 online issue of Neurology.

Study author, Brett Kissela, MD, MS, with the University Of Cincinnati College Of Medicine in Ohio and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, suggests that the increasing stroke numbers in younger people may be related to diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol. Another reason may be from improved MRI imaging, which could lead to a better diagnosis for stroke.

The researchers counted the number of strokes that happened in people between 20 and 54 years of age in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. The data was collected between July 1993 and June 1994. They also analyzed data collected for 1999 and for 2005. The researchers only counted the first occurring stroke.

The average age of a stroke victim in 1993-1994 was 71 years. In 2005, the average age for stroke fell to 69 years. Strokes in people under 55 also increased. In 1993-1994 they account for 13 percent of all strokes, while in 2005 the percentage increased to 19 percent.

African Americans under 55 had an increased stroke rate from 83 out of 100,000 people in 1993-1994 to 128 strokes per 100,000 people in 2005. Caucasians had also increased stroke rates. In 1993-1994 the Caucasian stroke rate was 26 per 100,000 compared to 48 per 100,000 in 2005.

Kissela said that there are some risk factors that can be reduced by lifestyle changes, such as exercise and diet. He added that younger adults should get regular checkups to monitor for stroke and heart disease, as well as for overall health.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

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