Study: Stroke victims getting younger and, yes, risk factors include obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol

A study conducted on first-ever stroke patients in the Greater Cincinnati and northern Kentucky area may have some devastating repercussions for the nation. The results of the University of Cincinnati research, published this week in the online issue of Neurology, found that the average age of stroke victims has dropped and that this has great implications for lifetime disability. Study author Brett Kissela, MD, with the UC’s College of Medicine explained that the rise in risk factors like diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol are the cause. Newswise reports that the study found that strokes among people under 55 made up a greater percentage of all strokes over time, growing from about 13 percent in 1993-94 to 19 percent in 2005. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

“What [the study] means is that even though young people typically feel like they’re healthy and that a stroke can’t happen to them, the fact is that our study is evidence that that is not true,” said Kissela.“The good news is that some of the possible contributing factors to these strokes can be modified with lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise. However, given the increase in stroke among those younger than 55, younger adults should see a doctor regularly to monitor their overall health and risk for stroke and heart disease.” (Read more)

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