More young people are having strokes!

While you probably know stroke risk increases as you get older, strokes can (and do) happen at any age—even among celebrities. Actress Aubrey Plaza had a stroke at 20 years old that temporarily took away her ability to speak. When he was in his late 20s, actor Frankie Muniz shared with fans on Twitter that he was experiencing “mini strokes” (aka transient ischemic attacks—more on those later). At 43 years old, Sharon Stone survived a stroke-induced brain hemorrhage, while Luke Perry died of a massive stroke at 52; both were considered by many to be “young for a stroke.”

But these stroke incidents weren’t anomalies; research seems to tell a similar tale about an increasing trend of strokes in young people. In a 2017 JAMA Neurology paper, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looked at U.S. hospitalization data between 2003 and 2012 and found that ischemic strokes—the most common type of stroke in the U.S.—appear to be increasing in people under 65 (specifically, “among younger adults aged 18-54,” according to the paper), with about 30,000 more ischemic stroke-related hospitalizations in this age group in 2012 than in 2003. It’s now estimated that 10 percent of all strokes in the U.S. happen in people under age 50, according to the Cleveland Clinic. (Related: The Stroke Risk Factors All Women Should Know About)

So, why are strokes on the rise in young people?

First thing’s first, there are several different types of strokes, but overall there are two main categories: ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes, which account for about 85 percent of all strokes in the U.S., are caused by clotting and lack of blood flow that can originate anywhere in the body. Hemorrhagic strokes happen when a weakened blood vessel in your brain breaks and bleeds, causing the brain to hemorrhage. They make up roughly 13 percent of all strokes in the U.S.

Read the rest at: Young Strokes


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