The falling age of stroke sufferers is a great concern for public health, according to experts in the US.
A study published in the journal Neurology has shown that the average age of someone suffering a stroke has fallen from 71 years in 1993/4 to 69 years in 2005.
Researchers looked at participants aged between 20 and 54 in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area of America for three separate year-long periods of time.
A stroke is a serious medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.
They found that not only has the average age of a stroke sufferer fallen by three years, but the percentage of young sufferers has also increased.
In 1993/4 13 per cent of strokes occurred in people aged under 55, but by 2005 this figure had increased to 19 per cent.
Study author Dr Brett Kissela attributed this increase to a rise in risk factors such as diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol, as well as improved diagnosis. He said:
“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.”
Whilst a UK specific study has not been carried out yet, a spokesman for the Stroke Association said that the UK could nonetheless face similar outcomes.
In England, strokes are a major health problem. Over 150,000 people have a stroke every year in this country, and it is the third largest cause of death after heart disease and cancer.
The brain damage caused by strokes also means that they are the largest cause of adult disability in the UK.
According to a recent report, the standard of NHS post-hospital stroke care needs to improve. Given the proposed cuts to the NHS and social care in the UK, there could be a rise in people taking out medical insurance to cover themselves for the best possible treatment.
As well as taking out health insurance, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and getting your blood pressure checked can all make a huge difference to your peace of mind.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012