Strokes are thought of as something that happens to old people. They do but increasingly strokes are occurring in young adults. Various studies have noted that obesity, sedentary lifestyles, high blood pressure, smoking and diet are factors in the increase which sees one in four strokes happening to someone in the 18-45 age group while other studies note a 25% increase in strokes for those in their 50’s.
The younger age range of stroke patients brought to emergency rooms may be confusing doctors who are increasingly misdiagnosing strokes as anxiety attacks or some other sort of bug. An analysis completed by the Canadian Medical Protective Association notes that doctors are also putting too much faith in CT scans. The scan can be inaccurate if taken too soon following a stroke so a scan with no conclusive result should be only part of a physical workup.
Strokes will continue to happen in the elderly, however as that demographic increases the pressure on our medical resources is intensified by this additional increase in younger adult strokes. The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery has produced a pdf booklet specifically directed at the younger demographic recovering from stroke which is attached to this article.
Stroke prevention can be supported by working with health care teams to modify one’s lifestyle including weight loss, increasing movement, smoking cessation, altering diet and getting blood pressure under control.