Sunday, January 13, 2019

Increase Of Strokes In Young Adults

Last December, one of my colleagues needed to take urgent leave to go to Taiwan. He found out that his 36 year old brother had a suspected stroke and their whole family went to Taiwan to be with him.

I was shocked as his brother seemed relatively young to suffer a stroke (although I remember while still working in the hospital my youngest stroke patient was just 29 years young). The same colleague mentioned that at least four other friends younger than his brother also had a stroke!

Though it may seem shocking to you for such a young person to experience a stroke, evidence shows that this is becoming more common in young adults.

An article published in JAMA Neurology found that the number of men aged between 35 to 44 hospitalized for stroke increased by a staggering 42 percent when they compared 2003-2004 to 2011-2012.

It seems to be more common among males (41 percent versus 30 percent for females). The authors found significant increased risk of getting a stroke if you are diabetic, have hypertension, heart disease, smoking cigarettes currently and long term alcohol consumption.

The majority of the above listed factors are definitely easily modified, correctable or can be stopped. So prevention strategies definitely have the potential to reduce the impact of stroke in this young age group.

I'd add that exercising will definitely reduce your risk too.


George MG, Tong X and Bowman BA (2017). Prevalence Of Cardiovascular Risk Factors And Risk Factors And Strokes in Younger Adults. Jama Neurol. 74(6): 695-703. DOI: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.0020.

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