Stroke Occurring at Younger Ages

In terms of stroke incidence, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that first-time strokes decreased for individuals aged 75 and older in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Region. The bad news is that younger people, regardless of race, are having a higher incidence of stroke. A significant increase in ischemic stroke occurred in ages 20 to 44 in 2005 compared to 1999 and 1993/1994. The authors suggest that this may be explained by a trend toward higher risk factors, including smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity among younger people. There is also documentation that among first-ever stroke patients aged 20 to 44, 23% use street drugs.

For the full article, see Age at Stroke.

Do you screen for stroke risk factors among your patients ages 20-44?

Do you believe this is a regional trend or could it be a national phenomenon?

What is the biggest challenge in motivating young adults to change unhealthy lifestyle habits?