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Too young for a stroke right?

A stroke is most of the time considered to be an older person's disease, but an estimated 10% of stroke patients are younger than 50. Recent reports show an apparent increasing trend in ischemic stroke among young adults.

Stroke in young adults had been thought to be associated with rare risk factors, including arterial dissection, reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome, inflammatory arteritis, cardiomyopathy, and several hypercoagulable factors.

Here are some yearly statistics for stroke age under 45 in the United States:

  • Stroke occurs in 4,000 infants.

  • From birth to age 18, there are 11 strokes for every 100,000 children and teens.

  • Stroke in all people under age 45 ranges from 7 to 15 per 100,000.

All stroke is caused by decreased blood supply to the brain. In older adults, the most frequent cause is a blood clot that forms inside the heart or a blood vessel, breaks loose, and travels to the brain. This type of stroke is called an ischemic stroke. In children, however, common causes include infections, trauma, heart disorders, sickle cell disease, and dehydration.

"If you accept that stroke is increasing in people under age 50, one big reason is probably obesity ” says Dr Winnie Lim Khoo. “Obesity in children and teens is up in the world and that increases the lifetime risk for stroke. Obesity increases the risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol level and diabetes. These are all important stroke risk factors at any age."

Some prevention strategies for stroke at any age include:

  • Work with your neurologist to identify underlying diseases.

  • Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight.

  • Eat a diet low in saturated fat and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

  • Start controlling high blood pressure and high cholesterol at an early age.

  • Recognize and control diabetes.

  • Avoid alcohol, drugs, and smoking.

One of the big differences between old age stroke and stroke in young age is recovery. Stroke in young people can mean a lifetime of recovery and a loss of many productive years. "About 15 to 30 percent of people who have a stroke have some long-term disability. The good news is that a 30-year-old has a better rate of recovery than an 80-year-old because of better brain plasticity," says Dr Lim Khoo. #stroke #youngadult #strokerecovery #strokefree #healthy #lifestyle #prevention #cure #medicine #obesity #diabetes #winnielimkhoo #neurologist #manila #philippines #health

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