Why are strokes rising among young people?
Doctors have seen a rising incidence of stroke in a part of the population you may not expect – young people. Stroke can happen anywhere, anytime and to anyone. Souvik Sen, MD, shared why strokes are not just your grandparents’ concern.
According to the National Stroke Association, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds. It is the leading cause of disability and fifth leading cause of death in the United States.
“South Carolina is in the buckle of the stroke belt, which means strokes are very high in this region. Even among young people,” said Dr. Sen.
To prevent stroke, Dr. Sen offered this advice.
- A healthy lifestyle can help prevent stroke. Be sure to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet. You should also participate in regular exercise (30 minutes of activity a day, five days a week).
- Avoid alcohol and drugs. Drug use is a major contributing factor in the increase of stroke among young people. Drugs like marijuana and cocaine have been connected to higher risk of stroke. If you do drink alcohol, drink in moderation.
- Get regular check-ups. Some predispositions to stroke such as high blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol can be monitored by your primary care doctor.
- Learn the signs and symptoms of stroke. Stroke patients could look healthy right up until the first sign. It is crucial to be aware of the signs and symptoms.
- React quickly to help avoid long-term complications. Possible disabilities include chronic weakness, vision problems, speech issues and post-stroke depression. In young people, such disabilities disrupt societal productivity and affect areas of life such as work, sex, family, healthcare and mental health.
- If someone experiences a stroke, call 911. If you or someone else is experiencing any of the stroke symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately.
What are the symptoms of a stroke?
Strokes can present in a multitude of ways and are difficult to recognize, so tools such as BE FAST have been developed to make it easier. BE FAST stands for:
- B – Balance off/dizzy
- E – Eyes blurred
- F – Face drooping
- A – Arm weakness
- S – Speech difficulty
- T – Time to call 911
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