The Stroke Association has issued a warning over the risk of strokes among young people following a study that suggests more and more working age people are suffering strokes.
A study conducted by the Stroke Association shows a significant increase in hospital admissions among men aged 40-54 between 2000 and 2014. In 2014, 6,221 men in this age range in England were admitted to hospital due to a stroke. This represents an increase of 1,961 cases compared to 2,000.
Experts believe that lifestyle factors play a major role, however there may be additional causes, including population growth and changes to the way hospitals work.
Strokes are often considered to be an illness of old people, but experts are stressing that younger people are at risk of strokes and the figures from the Stroke Association confirm this. John Barrick, from the Stroke Association, believes there should be a shift in the way strokes are viewed and they should no longer be seen as an old person’s health risk. Although the majority of people who suffer strokes in England are aged over 65, there are clear trends that indicate younger people are at risk.
Experts analysed hospital data from 2000 to 2014 and figures for men and women were alarming. There were 1,075 more strokes recorded among women in 2014 in comparison to 2000.
Strokes are caused by blood clots that block oxygen flow to the brain and they often have devastating consequences. They often contribute to long-term disability and they can be fatal. Lifestyle factors tend to play a part and living a sedentary life, smoking, eating unhealthily and being overweight can all increase the risk of a stroke.
Alastair Morely was just 34 years old when he suffered a stroke four years ago on New Year’s Day. Fortunately, he survived and he has recovered well, but his case is a stark reminder that strokes can affect much younger people.
Dr Mike Knapton, from the British Heart Foundation, said that the findings underline the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices and keeping an eye on blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Dr Knapton advised the public to attend regular health checks in middle age and to see a doctor if they notice any symptoms that may be indicative of cardiovascular disease.