Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Stroke Health Center

Font Size

Strokes in Children and Young Adults on the Rise

Researchers Say Findings Should Be a Wake-Up Call for Lifestyle Improvements

Obesity, Cholesterol Not Only Culprits

"The increasing incidence of [heart] disease risk factors in young patients is very concerning," says Lee Schwamm, MD. Schwamm is vice chair of neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. He reviewed the findings but was not involved in the research.

Schwamm agrees it should serve as a wake-up call. Part of the increase, he says, could be due to more sophisticated medical technology. Better imaging technology, for instance, may help identify correctly more strokes in younger people.

While the risk factors studied are associated with stroke, he says that  the traditional ones such as obesity and high cholesterol ''play their risks out over decades." As a result, they are unlikely to explain fully the increase,  he says.

However, risk factors such as alcohol abuse and drug abuse could help explain the increase. Those risk factors can be linked with strokes in a much briefer time frame, he says.

1|2

Today on WebMD

Understanding Stroke
SLIDESHOW
Lowering Blood Pressure Slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
most common stroke symptoms
ARTICLE
Stroke Recovery
ARTICLE
 

brain scans
Quiz
woman with migraine
Article
 
brain scan
Article
quit smoking tips
Slideshow
 

Heart Foods Slideshow
SLIDESHOW
Soy For High BP
VIDEO
 
BP Medicine
VIDEO
Lowering Cholesterol Slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 

WebMD Special Sections