Ways to Prevent Strokes in Young People

Over the last ten years, there has been a concerning increase in the number of young adults experiencing strokes, as per recent data from the CDC. A neurologist has shared three key strategies to help lower the risk of strokes.

Strokes, which result from inadequate blood flow to part of the brain, are typically associated with older individuals and are considered life-threatening. However, the study revealed a 15% rise in strokes among individuals under 65 in the US from 2011 to 2020. This increase coincides with a surge in cardiovascular risk factors like obesity among younger working-age adults.

When brain cells are deprived of oxygen for too long, they can die, leading to permanent damage and the loss of certain abilities such as speech or sight. Acting swiftly and raising awareness about stroke risk factors are essential, as emphasized by the study.

In 2021, stroke was the fifth leading cause of death in the US and incurred a cost of approximately $56.2 billion between 2019 and 2020, according to the CDC.

Researchers are currently investigating the reasons behind the spike in strokes among younger adults, with pollution and stress being potential factors, according to Dr. Neshika Samarasekera, a clinical neurologist and researcher. The study also pointed out obesity rates and the opioid epidemic as potential contributors to the increase.

While strokes can affect individuals of any age, there are proactive measures that can be taken to reduce the risk. Stop smoking, maintain a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and engage in regular physical activity are some of the key recommendations provided by Samarasekera.

Smoking significantly increases the likelihood of having a stroke and can lead to fatal outcomes. Consuming a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables can help combat inflammation, a known factor in stroke development. Additionally, regular exercise that elevates the heart rate has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke by 25%.

Overall, being mindful of controllable risk factors and adopting healthy lifestyle habits can greatly contribute to preventing strokes among young people. Remember, taking small steps today can lead to significant health benefits in the future.