In times past, when issues of stroke came up for any discussion, it would have been directed to much older people – persons gone past their youthful years.
The situation today, however, is no longer the same. While stroke continues to be a leading cause of death, disability, and hospitalization, the biggest scare today is the fact that not only older people get stroke, but many young people too.
Stroke in young people is also said to comprise 10%-15% of all stroke cases.
In fact, you and middle-aged people may look and feel healthy but new research from the American Heart Association has shown that the rate of stroke has been steadily rising among younger than 49-year-olds.
This, the research showed, has been on for the past 30 years.
“No age group is immune to having strokes, and we’re surprisingly seeing rise in strokes in young adults,” Dr Abbas Kharal, a neurologist with Cleveland Clinic once said.
But the real question is, why are stroke cases rising among younger people?
Let’s begin with what stroke actually is: it occurs when there is an issue with blood flow to parts of the brain – whether that is due to a lack of blood supply or bleeding in the brain.
Back to Dr Kharal, he also indicated that one of the things that makes cases of stroke prevalent in younger people is that when to my experience the symptoms, they sometimes put it off, avoiding getting help because they think it’s something less serious.
“Particularly in younger adults, we’re seeing a significant rise in premature atherosclerosis, which is hardening and blockages in blood vessels. That is specifically believed to be due to a rise in the vascular risk factors of stroke in more younger patients,” he stressed.
So, what is the real cause of the high cases of strokes in younger people, especially in their late 20s?
It is believed that some rare conditions can predispose some people to stroke at a young age.
However, most risk factors for stroke in these younger generations are also said to be similar to those in older people. These are
– High blood pressure
– High cholesterol
Hypertension, for instance, is the risk factor that most significantly correlates with stroke and plays a role in more than 50% of episodes of stroke worldwide, a report by National Library of Medicine indicates.
How can young people prevent strokes?
One of the surest ways for young people to avoid getting strokes is to get moving. Engaging in regular physical activities will help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Other ways are: stop smoking, eat vegetable, drink less alcohol, understand things that you can’t control, lose weight, and treat atrial fibrillation.
The writer, Ebenezer Denzel Amanor, writes for www.surveillanceghana.com